Valdosta Police Department Welcomes Five New Officers
On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, five new officers were sworn in at the Valdosta Police Department by Judge Richard M. Cowart. The officers were accompanied by their family and members of VPD and the city of Valdosta. This class of graduates received special recognition for their achievements made throughout the Police Academy and their perseverance. Some had to retake the course due to the first being canceled by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Dante Domenget, William Rozier, Thomas Martin, Tyler Dukes, and Cody Peek are the newest members of Valdosta's police force.
"I wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement because I enjoy helping others. My family lives in Valdosta, so of course, I wanted to stay near them, but after interviewing with VPD, it felt like a second home," said Officer Thomas Martin.
After participating in in-service training with the VPD training division, the five started the academy in February. For Officers Rozier, Peek, and Dukes, this day had been a long time coming as the original course they were enrolled in was canceled due to the spread of Coronavirus. Initially, the three were set to graduate from the academy in November but instead had to wait an extra three months to re-enroll.
"We were set to start the academy six months ago, and COVID hit, so we had to leave and restart three months later. Luckily we were able to go through and represent our department. We are all just happy to be here," said Officer William Rozier.
These officers' dedication and commitment are commendable, and they even earned them various awards throughout the police academy. Domenget received "Top Shot," Rozier was second place for "Top Shot," Cody Peek was Valedictorian, Rozier was second in academics, and Peek received the Class Flag.
The group will start Field Training in one week, which usually lasts for about ten to twelve weeks. In total, the new officers will go through close to twenty weeks of training.