WSLS Anchor Karen McNew had the chance to spend a morning with the Roanoke Police Academy’s 68th recruit class. She gives an inside look at what it takes to become one of Roanoke’s finest.
13 men and women make up the 68th class of Roanoke City Police Academy recruits. In a little more than 20 weeks, the men and women of the 68th class are family.
It was obvious when I first met the group that teamwork is a major part of their training. This is the second time I have worked with a group of recruits from the academy and both times I felt like I had become fast friends with every single one of them.
As we warmed up in the parking lot, I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. I quickly learned that the six mile round trip run from the police station downtown to the Mill Mountain Star was more about endurance and team building and less about who makes it to the top first. Police officers don’t think of themselves first, they think of their fellow officers and the community.
I did not talk to one recruit who said I want to be a Roanoke City Police officer because they think it will be fun. I got the impression that each recruit wants to serve the community in a way that provides safety and security for the people of Roanoke. Of course there are fun parts to every job, but risking your life in the pursuit of keeping your community safe is a career that is to be commended.
I enjoyed my time with the 68th recruits.
Between Morgan Tyler Crawford from Stuarts Draft who played basketball for Georgetown, Jacob Underwood, Jaclyn Chaddic from Northern Virginia and the other ten recruits it is clear this group is working hard to reach graduation in December so they can continue with their goals of serving the citizens of Roanoke.
Crawford sums up the reason for the 6 mile trek, “If you are in a foot pursuit you don’t know how long you are going to be running or anything like that from a cardio and mental stand point it definitely tests you.”
A test we all passed because we finished and we finished together.