HCPD adds four officers to its ranks

Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, Police Chief Douglas Holland, Deputy Chief of Police Capt. Amal Awad, and City Administrator Tracey Nicholson pose with the newest members of the Hyattsville Police Department after their swearing in. From left: Officer Joseph Valko, Officer Shaun Wesberry, Officer Kelly Hernandez, and Officer Darrell Benjamin. Photo by Krissi Humbard

BY KRISSI HUMBARD — The Hyattsville City Police Department has grown again.

Four recruits graduated from the Prince George’s Municipal Police Academy last week and were sworn in as city police officers Wednesday, Oct. 18, at noon. This was one of the largest groups to graduate and be sworn in at one time for the department.

Officers Darrell Benjamin, Kelly Hernandez, Shaun Wesberry and Joseph Valko joined the department, bringing the number of officers who work for the police department to 44. According to Chief Douglas Holland, HCPD is now just one officer shy from a full department.

The newest officers were some of the top in their class. Officer Wesberry won first place in four of the six award categories, bringing home to Hyattsville the Leadership Award, Scholastic Achievement Award, Firearms Award, and Emergency Vehicle Operations Award. Officer Hernandez placed third in scholastic achievement and Officer Benjamin placed second in Emergency Vehicle Operations.

During the ceremony, City Administrator Tracey Nicholson administered the Oath of Office, and Chief Holland pinned their badges over their hearts. Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, Nicholson, Chief Holland, and a host of family, friends, officers and fire fighters were on hand to welcome the newest City of Hyattsville family members.

  • The four new officers pose with members of the Hyattsville City Police Department. Photo by Krissi Humbard
  • The four new officers pose with members of the Hyattsville City Police Department, Mayor Candace Hollingsworth and City Administrator Tracey Nicholson. Photo by Krissi Humbard
  • The four new officers pose with members of the Hyattsville City Police Department. Photo by Krissi Humbard
  • Officer Darrell Benjamin receives his badge during the swearing-in ceremony. Photo by Krissi Humbard
  • Officer Kelly Hernandez receives her badge during the swearing-in ceremony. Photo by Krissi Humbard
  • Officer Joseph Valko receives his badge during the swearing-in ceremony. Photo by Krissi Humbard
  • Officer Shaun Wesberry receives his badge during the swearing-in ceremony. Photo by Krissi Humbard
  • City Administrator Tracey Nicholson administers the oath of office to four new police officers Oct. 18. Photo by Krissi Humbard
  • Four new police officers were sworn in Oct. 18. Photo by Krissi Humbard