Pictures: Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office welcomes new graduates

The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office welcomed a new class of deputies to the force at a graduation ceremony Monday.

The graduation, which took place at the Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Training Academy, honored 17 deputies who recently underwent 16 weeks of basic training, according to a Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office news release.

Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office deputies have to prove they’ve got what it takes to serve the city before they make it to graduation.

Before entering basic training, deputy hopefuls spend a few months working in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center. After that, if they’re still interested in pursuing a position with the sheriff’s office, they complete 16 weeks of basic training where they learn about stress management, unusual inmates and cultural diversity, said Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kathy Hieatt.

“This is no minor task,” Sheriff Ken Stolle said at the graduation. “I’ve never seen a more challenging time to be in law enforcement.”

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Adrienne Mayfield is an award-winning, multi-media journalist hailing from Clermont, Fla. She moved to Lynchburg, Va. on a whim when she was 19, and worked her way to Hampton Roads in 2013. Adrienne is passionate about telling people stories via covering public safety and the judicial system. She isn’t afraid to take a heads-on approach to covering crime, including knocking on doors to get the details police aren’t sharing. Adrienne is a 2014 Old Dominion University graduate who still lives within walking distance of the college. You may see her cruising around Downtown Norfolk on her bike, enjoying a sandwich from Grilled Cheese Bistro or playing fetch with her dog, Greta, at the Colonial Place dog park.