CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Eight new Charleston police officers will begin training next Monday at the State Police Academy in Institute, including Chief of Detectives Lt. Steve Cooper’s son Jacob.
“I’m very proud of him. He’s got a real heart to serve and I believe he will be well received in the community here in Charleston,” said Lt. Cooper, following a ceremony held at Charleston City Hall Thursday.
Calling it “the happiest day of his life,” Jacob Cooper, 19 of Charleston, told MetroNews being on the same department as his father is an honor.
“It’s definitely encouraging following in his footsteps, to a degree, and I want to make my own name, of course,” said Jacob Cooper.
Lt. Cooper said his son has always wanted to serve others. He has helped the community through volunteer work, shoveled snow for neighbors and received several awards from community leaders for his service.
“I think he’s well suited for law enforcement. He cares about people. He’s got a lot of common sense and he treats everyone with respect,” he said.
After always encouraging Jacob to explore all professional options, Lt. Cooper never wanted him to feel like he was obligated to “get into the family business.”
“In the end, it was just his heart’s desire. It seems to be in his blood, so he’s ready.”
Lt. Cooper said off duty, the relationship between him and his son will remain the same. On duty, it will be “all business.”
Jacob Cooper graduated from Cross Lanes Christian School in Cross Lanes and attended West Virginia University in Parkersburg. He will be continuing his education as he gets time working with the police force.
Once the officers complete a 16 week training period at the police academy, they will enter the Charleston Police Department Field Training Program.
Mayor Danny Jones and Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster were also on hand for Thursday’s swear-in.
The other seven officers sworn in include:
Daniel Y. Eisenberg
23 years of age
Montgomery, WV 25136
Jonathan Lee Haynes
29 years of age
Nitro, WV 25143
Christian Skylar Harshbarger
24 years of age
Ona, WV 25545
Kaitlin Maeve Phelan
22 years of age
Springfield, VA 22152
Anthony David Thomas
22 years of age
Charleston, WV 25312
Brandon Lee Hazelwood
21 years of age
Princeton, WV 24739
20 years of age
Huntington, WV 25701