SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Five people were sworn in as Suffolk Police officers during a badge-pinning ceremony Tuesday.

“I commend each of you for deciding to become a Suffolk Police officer and join one of the most exemplary, outstanding law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Mayor Mike Duman. “During these times, the strength, commitment and courage it takes to put on a badge is both honorable and admirable.”

The new officers, identified only by first initial and last name per a new Suffolk Police Department policy, are K. Barrick, A. Contreras, N. Davidson, A. Jones, E. Minsky.

“With Thanksgiving only two days away, it is only fitting that we celebrate your new journey today by simply saying thanks, “Duman said, “thanks for your willingness to protect and serve our community, thanks for being part of the 24/7 security blanket our citizens rely on, thanks for being part of what allows us to sleep peacefully at night. I would be remiss if I didn’t say thanks to your families. Their sacrifice and support will be instrumental in your success that should never go unappreciated.”

Before offering his remarks, Suffolk Police Chief Al Chandler paused for a moment of silence for dispatcher Tamara Arthur, who he said had died earlier Tuesday morning.

Chandler told the new officers what it meant to put on the badge, and said everything about their uniform has a purpose and meaning.

“This is indeed a great day,” Chandler said. “It marks an amazing accomplishment in your lives. Today we celebrate your hard work. Today you have reached a milestone that you will never forget. Today is the day that you can finally say those proud words, ‘I am a Suffolk Police officer.”