Follows is a speech given by Andrew A. Protogyrou at the Norfolk Sheriff”s Academy Graduation in May 2012.
It is with great pleasure and one of my greatest honors that I have the ability to address this graduation class. I have spent over 25 years of professional life as a lawyer, substitute judge and city council member – in contact with the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office.
Each of you today, once your star touches your chest, are no longer individuals, you are members of a family and of a fraternity in the law enforcement community. You are, however, different on TV and give the jail key to Otis Campbell, the town drunk, to come and go as he pleases to sleep off the bender. I am saying be kind and respectful. Sheriff Andy always diffused a difficult situation with humor. Whether it was Deputy Barney Fife losing his weapon or Ernest T. Bass, the crazy hillbilly who spoke in rhyme- throwing rocks through windows. The Sheriff’s humor and compassion always disarmed the situation and kept him in office.
Today, you join the community of law enforcement; however, remember – your star, your uniform, your Constitutional position. You are Deputies, not officers.
You are unique and on behalf of the citizens of this city and myself, I thank you for being different!