Two graduate from law enforcement academy

By Madeline Otten

Fluvanna County High School and Fork Union Military Academy were not the only ones who celebrated graduations in late May. The Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office sent two of their own, Deputies Logan Fielding and Chuck Hoffman, to the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy and congratulated them on their May 24 graduation from the academy.

Fielding and Hoffman started the academy in early January and went through the 20-week basic law enforcement training program, returning home only on the weekends. The program covered criminal and traffic laws, search and seizure, first aid and CPR, DUI investigation, speed measurement, and more. In total the program took about 800 hours.

Fielding and Hoffman completed 40 hours per week of slated instruction. This consisted of classes, physical training, and practicals, in which they took information they learned in class and applied it to actual situations.

Fielding was honored for having the highest academic achievement in his class at the graduation ceremony.

“The academy provides you with such a large amount of information day in and day out,” he said. “Studying to absorb all that information is what I would say was the most difficult [aspect]; however, crime scene investigation was probably my favorite class.”

“The hardest part of the academy was being away from family during the week,” said Hoffman. “I went home on the weekends, but once Sunday afternoon rolled around, it was time to go back.”

Fielding worked in automotive sales for five years before beginning his career in law enforcement in April 2015 at the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office. As a communications officer, he was responsible for answering the phones, including 911 calls, creating calls for service, dispatching the proper units, logging information and radio traffic, and much more. When he took on the role of animal control, it became a dual certified position, meaning that Fielding had to go to the academy. He was not only responsible for handling calls about stray animals, dog bites, rabid animals and animal abuse, but also for performing other patrol functions.

Having family ties within law enforcement helped Fielding realized his calling. His father, Scott Fielding, is one of Fluvanna’s investigators with over 20 years of experience in law enforcement. His uncle is a Virginia State Police agent and his aunt works for the University of Virginia police.

“I grew up getting to listen to all the stories, both good and bad,” Fielding said. “It wasn’t until I got older I found the draw of wanting to be a part of something bigger than myself and wanting to get out there and help those who may not be in a position to help themselves.”

A long-time English teacher, Hoffman taught at Louisa County High School for over 20 years, but found himself wanting a fresh start. He began to feel job complacency and joked that he taught Beowulf, an Old English epic poem, 40 times in one semester. He decided it was time for a career change.

Throughout his career as a teacher, Hoffman enjoyed connecting with students and engaging them in literature. This love of personal connections helped in his transition to law enforcement.

“I like meeting new people, and I think that is why I loved education so much,” said Hoffman. “I met new colleagues, students, parents, and I get to do that as a deputy through serving the community.”

Hoffman started to work for Fluvanna County as a reserve deputy after he was sworn in last November. Reserve deputies do not have the full range of responsibilities as deputies, but perform in many assisting roles. Some of their responsibilities included helping with county events, such the Monticelloman Triathlon and high school graduation. Now, as a full-time deputy, Hoffman takes on the additional duties that come with the role.

“There is a lot more training, more administrative work, general orders, codes and laws,” said Hoffman. “But this is my life now, and being a community law enforcement officer means you go out and meet with the community and bond with them.”

May 28 marked the two new deputies’ first day of work. The first week included indoor and outdoor training to ready the newly graduated deputies for their roles within the community.

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