NOVA Police Officer Receives Top Honor

Officer John Baxter is one of the newest members of NOVA’s Police Department. Officer Baxter graduated from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy in December, along with 83 other police recruits and sheriff deputies from across Northern Virginia. The rigorous five-month academy curriculum included training in Virginia’s legal code, emergency vehicle operations, active shooter response, firearms, HAZMAT, childbirth, dealing with mentally-challenged individuals, report writing, control tactics, and other critical topics. The physically and mentally challenging curriculum earned Baxter 24 hours of college credit. During Officer Baxter’s academy training, he was selected by his peers as a vice president. He was also presented a certificate by the academy for his inspired performance and motivation.

At the graduation ceremony, Officer Baxter was awarded the police academy’s top honor, the Thomas L. Shaw Award. This award is given to one individual, selected by the academy’s basic training instructors, who exhibits the most professionalism, dedication and leadership. Previous NOVA recruits won firearms and physical fitness recognitions, but Officer Baxter is the first NOVA recruit to receive the Shaw Award. The award was presented to Officer Baxter by NOVA Police Chief Daniel Dusseau. “I couldn’t be prouder of Officer Baxter’s accomplishment,” said Chief Dusseau. “It reflects great credit upon his professionalism and dedication as well as a testimony to the high caliber of officers in the NOVA Police Department.”

Prior to becoming a police officer, Baxter spent two years as a NOVA dispatcher and previously served eight-and-half years in the U.S. Army as a scout sergeant and logistical specialist. Baxter will be assigned to the Manassas Campus upon completing his two-month on-the-job supervised field training. Please join us in congratulating and welcoming him!

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