WYTHEVILLE – Early Monday (Nov. 7, 2016), 44 new Virginia State Police troopers reported to their respective Division Headquarters to begin the final phase of training. The 124th Basic Session celebrated their graduation Friday (Nov. 4, 2016), at the state police Academy in North Chesterfield County. Upon receiving their diplomas, the new troopers finished a rigorous 27-week training session. They received instruction in more than 100 different subjects spanning hundreds of hours. Academy training includes such areas as crime scene investigation, survival Spanish, judicial procedures, self- defense, cultural diversity and firearms.

Three from the Metro-Richmond are staying close to home with their new patrol assignments and will spend the next six weeks with a field training officer learning his or her new patrol area and day-to-day duties.

Northern Neck native, Trooper K. Shane Hammell Jr., begins his career on patrol in Caroline County. The 23-year-old Lively native brings to his new state police career more than three years of prior experience at the Northern Neck Regional Jail. Hammell is also a dedicated volunteer within his community having served with the Upper Lancaster Volunteer Fire Department and Lancaster County Explorers Post. He is also an accomplished Eagle Scout and a member of the Ruritan Club.

From Louisa County is Trooper Jason M. Walker, 34, of Bumpass. Prior to joining the Virginia State Police, Walker served four years with the Pamunkey Regional Jail and six years with the U.S. Marine Corps. He currently serves in the U.S. Army Reserves and as a firefighter with the Locust Creek Volunteer Fire Department. Walker chose a career as a trooper, “…to continue serving my country and my home state of Virginia. There is no greater honor an American can have than to serve their country and their community.” Walker’s first patrol assignment is in Powhatan County.

For Chesterfield County native, Trooper Thomas R. Horton, joining the Virginia State Police is a second career. Prior to joining the state police, Horton was a physical education teacher. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Averett University. Horton reports to duty in Chesterfield County.