It’s day three for the newest members of the Virginia Division of Capitol Police.
Nine recruits started in Capitol Square this week after a stint at the academy.
Officer Marcus Brigil, who’s been at the state Capitol for over a decade, was assigned to two of the newest officers in blue. He’s been taking his recruits out to familiarize themselves with the grounds and to learn more about the history of the area.
“We’re a unique agency,” Officer Brigil said.
Unique because of what they do. The grounds are historic, the capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson. Officers oversee the protection of the governor, executive branch, lawmakers and the public. Thousands of people come each year to the Capitol for visits as well as to demonstrate at rallies to voice their thoughts on legislation.
“Over the years, we have to protect them,” Officer Brigil said. “It’s always changing but it’s an honor to be part of the oldest Capitol Police agency.”
How old? In November, Capitol Police celebrated its 400th birthday. A picture hanging outside of the House of Delegates shows the meeting of the first General Assembly in Jamestown, Va. back in 1618. In it are members of “The Guard,” who protected Gov. George Yeardley.
Knowing this makes the experience even more special for recruit, and history buff, Cody Carruth, of Powhatan.
“All around you it’s kind of unique to think about all of the people over the last centuries that have walked these same grounds,” Officer Carruth said.
Training lasts for a minimum of six weeks. After a year on the force, the officers can apply to be part of special divisions within the department, like working with K9 Officers or being on bike patrol.
Recruits are hopeful they’ll make an impact on the grounds and to the people who come here.
“Now I get to hold down the fort for all of those really significant people who have to work and live here,” Officer Carruth said.