Clarksburg WV



Lay down one’s life a friend.


On Friday November 1, 2013 in Charleston, the West Virginia State Police Training Academy graduated thirty-six (36) state-wide police officers, as the one hundred and fifty-fifth (155th) Basic Police Training Class came to its completion.  Of the thirty-six (36) graduates, three (3) officers are now proudly serving the City of Clarksburg.  Officers William Dawson, John Tonkin, and Ethan Walker had big smiles on their face as they were congratulated and welcomed by many of the current City officers that serve our community. 


Officers William Dawson, John Tonkin, and Ethan Walker.

“We are excited to see these Officers smiling after three months of training,” stated Interim Chief Robbie Hilliard.  “Today is a great day for these individuals who get the honor of wearing their Officer’s uniform for the very first time.  We are looking forward to the graduates moving onto our Field Training Officers Program upon their return.”


Many Officers from the Clarksburg Police Department with the new graduates.

The graduation, which began with a welcome from the Master of Ceremonies, Sergeant J. G. Portaro, was followed by an inspirational speech by newly appointed Officer for the Parkersburg Police Department, M.A. Traywick.  As part of his message to the thirty-six (36) graduates, Traywick quoted the Gospel of John (Jn 15:13) stating, “No one has greater love than this,to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  He continued to explain to the newly graduated officers that God has planned for all of them to be there and that “being a Police Officer is more than just a job, but that it is a way of life.”  Traywick concluded his speech by encouraging the graduates to follow their hearts, live to serve others, and to make the sacrifices that will define them as true warriors.  


The 155th Basic Police Training Class taking their final marching on the WV State Police Academy Campus.

As part of the ceremony, Sherriff T. W. McComas of Cabell County presented the Valedictorian Award to Clarksburg’s own, William Dawson.  Dawson, who earned a GPA in the greater than ninety-eighth (98th) percentile, graciously received the award after an announcement that the class was competitively working to receive such a prestigious award.  The entire student body finished the training with an average of ninety-five percent (95%).


Dawson receiving Valedictorian Award.

Shortly after the presentation of awards, Captain James Agee of the St. Abans Police Department gave a memorable address to the student body which prepared the graduates for their certificates.  Captain Agee exclaimed, “Look at your badge every day, and ask yourself if you have earned it,” and concluded by stating, “Integrity is everything for a police officer.”  After the motivational challenge, the graduates rose to receive their certificates from many of the distinguished guests of honor.


Dawson saluting Shariff T. W. McComas, after receiving certificate of completion.


John Tonkin saluting Sergeant J.G. Portaro, Deputy Director of Training after receiving certificate.



Ethan Walker saluting Sergeant J.G. Portaro, Deputy Director of Training after receiving certificate.