DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — The Danville Police Department now has its first father-daughter duo.
Officer Bryanna McLaughlin was sworn in as a member of the Danville Police Department on Tuesday, April 13 — along with five other officers — and her father, who served for 24 years, had the honor of pinning her at the induction ceremony.
According to Officer McLaughlin, she’s ready to work and has a plan.
While her father was the first to inspire her in joining the Danville Police Department, Officer McLaughlin says her interest grew even more during an internship with the Danville Sheriff’s Office.
“When I interned in the jail, I saw various people that I went to high school with and it hit home a little bit, like ‘I ended up here and you ended up there,’ but even listening to their stories and other people’s stories, it meant more to me to affect change where I’m actually from whether than going somewhere I have no community ties to,” she said.
Officer McLaughlin’s father, Lt. Jeffrey McLaughlin, says his uncle, a retired captain, encouraged him to join the force and he’s proud to pass the legacy to his daughter.
“When you think about the profession, people steer away from it, but for her to come and want to be a part of the change, it was amazing,” Lt. McLaughlin said.
Officer McLaughlin is passionate about being a part of that change.
“A lot of people are not very fond of the police at the moment and I would just want to be one of those officers who could help change someone’s perception of law enforcement. Like, there are some bad people in every profession,” Officer McLaughlin told WFXR News, “but this profession isn’t as bad as you think.”
According to Lt. McLaughlin, that change begins with community engagement.
“This is a face of community engagement. You want the community to know the officers that are serving them and for her to want to be a big part of that, that says a lot for the police department and it says a lot for the City of Danville.”
The father and daughter duo won’t be working directly together, but they both plan to spark positive changes in Danville and make history while doing it.
“I just want to hit the ground and go full force, do what I can to change the community, change the perception, and be the best officer that I can be,” Officer McLaughlin added.