Vienna police officers Pam Juelharte and Tony Clingerman made the move last Thursday from "being one of the guys or gals to being in charge of the guys and gals," said Vienna Police Chief Robert Carlisle Tuesday morning, June 13, following a promotion ceremony at the station. The two officers were selected from a group of 14 candidates for promotion from private first class to sergeant.
An independent panel of commanders and supervisors from other police departments selected a group of top candidates from the original pool, and then Carlisle and other Vienna police supervisors made the final choice, he said.
"There's some good choices in that top group, but I really felt that Pam and Tony have just stood out," said Carlisle.
"Tony is a very motivated guy," he said. "I would venture to say Tony probably puts more miles on his car in a shift than a lot of our employees." As a result, he said Clingerman makes "a lot of contacts and a lot of arrests."
He received an award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in May for his numerous arrests of drunk drivers.
Carlisle described Juelharte as exceedingly thorough and meticulous. "When her cases come in, be it the police work or the documentation of the police work, nothing is left out," he said. He noted that Juelharte's "exceptional" investigative skills led to her cooperating with the FBI, sheriffs office and various police departments to apprehend the "cell phone bandit," who robbed a number of banks in Northern Virginia last fall.
Each of them will now supervise a squad of four or five officers. They will be assigned to squads in which they have not served.
Clingerman who has been on the squad for almost five years, said he hopes to motivate his officers to do their job well and also have fun. He said he hopes to model his leadership style loosely after that of his current supervisor, Sgt. Jamie Smith, who is both a boss and a friend to his officers. "You can go to him and ask him questions," said Clingerman. "That's the kind of environment I'm trying to create on the squad."
Juelharte, who has been with the department for about six years, also noted, "I always try to pull from my supervisors things that I can emulate and can use in my career," adding that she also keeps in mind things her supervisors could have done to make her job easier and more enjoyable. She said she looks forward to identifying and using the talents of her officers.
The rising sergeants' own talents, said Carlisle, had to be many in order for them to be selected. He said their evaluators considered knowledge, interpersonal skills, decision-making under pressure, leadership skills, self-expression and the ability to analyze information and looked for candidates who possessed high skill levels across the board.
A sergeant, he said, establishes the morale for his squad, bears responsibility for most of the decision-making in the field and acts as the line of contact between citizens and the police department. "So it's very critical for us to pick the right people."