By Debbie Adams
The Vinton Police Department celebrated the achievements of several officers at a Promotion Ceremony at the Vinton War Memorial on August 16. Their families, town officials, and other members of town leadership attended the event.
Vinton Police Chief Fabricio Drumond and Deputy Chief Tim Lawless recognized several individuals advancing within the department. Each officer was called to the front and given a charge in their new position. Some were being transferred to new divisions; others were being promoted into leadership roles.
- Officer William Holland was transferred to the position of Community Resource Officer (CRO). One of his duties will be working with the local schools. He was joined by his wife Melissa, who pinned his new badge.
- Justin Baker was transferred to the position of detective. He was pinned by his wife, Mandie.
- Silas Chapman was transferred to the position of detective corporal.
- Christopher Shively was promoted to the rank of corporal and pinned by his wife, Lindsey.
- Brandon Alterio was promoted to the rank of sergeant and pinned by his wife, Meghan.
- Andrew O’Connor was promoted to the rank of sergeant and pinned by his wife, Dawn.
- Jeremy Shrewsbury was promoted to the position of sergeant and pinned by his wife Jessica.
“Today we celebrate years of hard work and the commitment officers have shown to perfect and be experts in their craft,” Chief Drumond said in opening the ceremony. “Any career advancement comes with a lot of devotion, constant learning, and sacrifice.
“I want to say to the family members present today, you, too, play a pivotal and crucial role in supporting these law enforcement officers as they move forward in their new career paths. We can all agree that it takes a special person to join our beloved profession. I would safely say that it takes an even more special loved one, spouse, and family to support and encourage those who serve in our profession. As officers we recognize that sacrifice in our field is never a one-way street—as it often impacts those we care for the most. Think of the significant events, holidays, birthdays, or just the comfort of having your significant other by your side in the evenings. For that, we are eternally grateful for your support and love.
“For those of you being acknowledged for your achievements, while the bar will be set very high, be cognizant that you will be faced with challenges,” Drumond said. “While there will be many successes, you will face problems.
“Remember this, there is a purpose behind every problem in your life. Problems, whether professionally or personally, are not arbitrary. They are a test of your character, provide growth to your character, and are a test of your faith.
“Each one of you, regardless of rank or title has the opportunity to be a leader. For some, you have accepted the challenge by donning chevrons on your sleeves. All would agree that life is challenging, our careers can be challenging, and complex cases are challenging. You must keep pushing forward and always have the courage to trust and believe in yourselves. Our agency is much greater when people translate their abilities into action. Challenge is part of the process. It’s the exploration of the unknown—to get something you never had, you need to do something you have never done. Hone your skills.
“When you inspire action, and you challenge the ‘it’s always been done this way,’ you will have naysayers who will cast doubt on you. It is important to remember to never give up on anything you set your mind to do. Nothing in life worth doing is ever easy. Carry yourselves with the dignity and pride I know you have and expect nothing more than the best from yourself.
“Leadership and career progression is a road that never ends; there is always improvement to be made. Leadership is not defined by the prestigious classes you attend. Your do not become experts in your craft when you attend specific training. That training is critical, sure. It is used to keep you on your development path. You have the inherent responsibility to continue to perfect your task.
“As emerging leaders and experts, you will have to uncover how great leaders and people of action think, act, communicate, and most importantly, inspire action. It’s the opposite of how society operates—specifically, today where we are addicted to instant gratification. Everything we want is at our fingertips. Your should aspire to be the anomaly.
“Interestingly enough, I, along with many of my inter-departmental colleagues, will be embarking on a leadership journey— with a reading assignment. In our text we will be discussing the ‘Why’ in our profession and lives. You see, everyone in any organization knows ‘what’ they do, most even know ‘how’ to do it, but very seldom do people know ‘why’ they do what they do.
“Here’s the catch to finding your ‘why.’ The reason cannot be measured by metrics or something that is for profit. The ‘why’ is determining what is your purpose. What is your cause and what is your belief? It’s the ‘why’ do you get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care? For you all, your appetite for professional growth should certainly be your driving purpose, but always remember that leaders do not set out to be first, instead they set out to serve others. If you want to inspire action, it will start with having a clarity of your ‘why’ and establishing trust among your team.
“How do you inspire trust? Sure, consistency, proficiency, and authenticity are a sold foundation, but build further. It’s easy to apply authority, policy, or law. I challenge you to suspend your ego, be non-judgmental, honor reason, validate others, be generous, and show gratitude. Be grateful; be thankful for everything in your life; be grateful you are up today, be grateful for all the blessings that God has given you.
“A grateful heart is a foundation of life and a treasure from God. From the moment you raise your head from the pillow to the moment you lay back down, be grateful for the opportunities afforded to us and the people we have in our lives. Show love; don’t be shy. Love the people God gave us, because He will need them back one day. Enjoy life, find fulfillment and be the best at everything you do. Do this job and do it well, but don’t make it the only thing you do. Find time for breaks and take care of those you love. You’ll be a better leader if you take care of yourself mentally, physically, and most importantly, spiritually. Don’t worry about what you can’t control; don’t let yesterday’s action disrupt your today.
“What if you awoke this morning and the only things you had left were the things you thanked God for yesterday? How would you fare? How is your morning?”
The Promotion Ceremony included not just awards, but dinner, catered by Sal’s.