Purcellville swears in newest police officer

The Purcellville Police Department has their newest officer, Nelson Fernandez.  Officer Fernandez graduated from the 144th session of the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy on Monday, June 14. 

Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens, left, congratulates Purcellville’s newest police officer, Nelson Fernandez, after his formal swearing-in ceremony.

A formal swearing-in ceremony was held later that afternoon at the Purcellville Town Hall in the Council Chambers. Fernandez was sworn in by Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens. Purcellville Police Chief Cynthia McAlister, Deputy Chief of Police Dave Dailey along with members of the Purcellville Police Department, Mayor Kwasi Fraser, Supervisor Tony Buffington, as well Officer Fernandez’s family, were in attendance for the ceremony.

The challenging six-month academy program for police officers and sheriff deputies from the Northern Virginia area covered numerous law enforcement principles and procedures.

The Basic Law Enforcement School is divided into four main modules including criminal investigation, legal, patrol, and skills sections. Academy recruits must meet proficiency standards in all four areas, as well as successfully complete all performance-based training including First-Aid, CPR, control tactics, firearms training, and driver training.

Purcellville Police Chief Cynthia McAlister and Mayor Kwasi Fraser, left, join Nelson Fernandez, center, and his family at the ceremony.
Blue Ridge District Supervisor Tony Buffington and Officer Fernandez.

The NVCJTA participating agencies include the City of Alexandria Police Department, City of Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfax City Police Department, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Manassas City Police Department, Manassas Park Police Department, Metro Transit Police Department, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department, and the Northern Virginia Community College Police Department.

Fernandez is a naturalized U.S. citizen who moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic as a young adult. He is bilingual, fluent in both English and Spanish. Fernandez has served as an auxiliary officer with the Fairfax County Police Department since 2008. In addition to his law enforcement volunteerism, he also served as a volunteer firefighter with Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Department. 

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