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Virginia Sheriffs' Institute
Supporting Virginia’s Sheriffs & Deputies
Grading the essays written by the sergeant and lieutenant candidates are (left to right): Lt. Charles Smith, Fairfax Co. SO; Lt. Alexander McConnaghy, Norfolk Police Dept.; Lt. Nick Curtis, Va. Beach SO; and Lt. Douglas Snell, Loudon Co. SO

Twenty deputies recently got some time out of uniform to make the case for their promotion.

The Newport News Sheriff’s Office is compiling a list of men and women eligible to rise to the rank of lieutenant and sergeant when openings occur.

The promotion assessment took six days as deputies and police officers from across Virginia and Maryland came to Newport News to conduct the evaluations. Six deputies applied for lieutenant; 14 for sergeant, noted Major David Hughes, chief of professional standards.

They were graded in six areas: communications skills (written and oral), problem identification and analysis, judgment, decision-making, planning and organization skills and interpersonal skills.

The list is among the tools Sheriff Gabe Morgan uses when he considers promoting personnel to vacant positions.

The NNSO is grateful to personnel from the Prince George’s Co., MD Police Department, Fairfax Co. Sheriff’s Office, Fairfax Co. Police Department, Loudon Co. Sheriff’s Office, Hampton Sheriff’s Office, Norfolk Sheriff’s Office, Norfolk Police Department, Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office, Chesapeake Police Department and Va. Beach Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.

“We endeavor to use agencies that would have little or no regular contact with the candidates, even during their academy days, so everyone is on a level playing field,” Major Hughes added.

When testing week commences, it’s a nervous time for the deputies. They do their best and hope to land at the top of the promotion list.

It can take months to set up assessment boards – from planning the tests to sending requests for assistance to determining the candidates.

“We couldn’t do this without the help of the assessors, so we offer to assist their agencies if called upon,” Major Hughes said. “Last week, for example, one of our captains was on an assessment board in Alabama.”

The promotion lists created last week will be valid for a year to 18 months.