Chester resident Jaleel Clayton Thacker is on patrol in Chesterfield County as a newly sworn Virginia State Trooper. On Feb. 15, Thacker graduated with... Chesterfield has new state trooper: Thacker previously was in the Marine Corps

Chester resident Jaleel Clayton Thacker is on patrol in Chesterfield County as a newly sworn Virginia State Trooper.

On Feb. 15, Thacker graduated with 79 other new state troopers after completing 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, survival Spanish, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival, cultural diversity and crisis management.

“The police academy wasn’t quite what I expected,” Thacker said. “It was far more challenging than I anticipated it to be, which resulted in the feeling of succeeding to be even better.”

“[Graduating] felt very similar to getting my Eagle, Globe and Anchor in the Marine Corps,” he said. “It’s a feeling that isn’t easily described by words and can only be described by experiencing it.”

On Feb. 18, the graduates were assigned to a field training officer where they would continue their training for six more weeks.

Before becoming a state trooper, Thacker was already on a path of serving others.

“Growing up, I wanted to be a United States Marine,” he said. “I served for four years right out of high school.”

The transition to being a trooper seemed to be a good fit.

“I decided becoming a state trooper would be the best way to serve my state and continue my service for others,” he said.

Thacker attributes his ability to achieve his goals to his mother, Tammy Johnson.

“My mother worked hard as a single parent to provide for my sister and [me] growing up,” Thacker said. “She proved to me that with the drive and determination to make things happen, anything is possible. I want to be able to do the same for my family….”

Thacker hopes to be a role model and looks forward to assisting those in need.

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