RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Police Department welcomed 18 new officers to their police force after the 114th Basic Recruit Class graduated at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Thursday morning.
Among the new class of officers is Richard Chinappi, who trained as a wrestler under fallen Virginia State Police Special Agent Mike Walter.
Walter was fatally shot in Richmond’s Mosby Court Friday on May 26 while working with a Richmond Police Officer as part of a City and State partnership.
Chinappi was a member of the Blackhawk wresting club in Powhatan County, which Walter co-founded and also coached.
“I knew him since freshman year of high school,” Chinappi said. “I knew the guy pretty well, very, very hard coach, really good guy.”
Chinappi will now try to carry on the legacy on Special Agent Walter.
“It's upsetting that anything could happen to someone like that, but if I can help prevent that from happening to anybody else or do my part at least, I’ll feel much better about that,” said Chinappi.
Chinappi, along with 17 other recruits officially became Richmond police officers after completing 31 weeks of training, 15 in the class room, 15 in the field, and one week working on community engagement.
“I’m really excited to be out, actually on the street,” said Chinappi.
He said his goal is to make Richmond great and help take care of the community.
“It’s a good city, a lot of god people, some bad ones, we just have to do our job and make sure that everything gets better,” he said.
As newly sworn officers, the five women and 13 men will begin eight weeks of field training this Saturday, paired with an experienced officer.