First Precinct police officer, supervisor of year recognized in Virginia Beach

Police Sgt. Richard W. Cheatham
Detective Josh Makin


COURTHOUSE – A sergeant in charge of a decorated community policing unit and an officer who worked a case last year that took drugs and a weapon off the street were honored as the supervisor and officer of the year, respectively, for the First Precinct.

Sgt. Richard W. Cheatham and Detective Josh Makin, who is now investigating property crimes in the Second Precinct, were recognized by the First Precinct Citizens Advisory Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Cheatham said he was humbled by the honor and grateful that precinct officers selected him.

“It’s an honor to me because it’s from them,” he said during an interview.

“The ultimate effect of great leadership is that the people you’re leading believe you’re doing it for the right reasons,” said Capt. David Squires, commanding officer of the First Precinct, during remarks at the committee meeting. 

Cheatham has a number of roles within the precinct, including overseeing rookies who have been cut loose from the academy and assigned to the precinct. He works with special events, dealing with large crowds at happenings such as the Pungo Strawberry Festival. And, among other things, he helps bars engage in safer procedures when issues arise.

Cheatham also oversaw the team that earned the department’s unit citation award this past year. The community policing squad works closely with neighborhoods, building relationships with people, getting narcotics off the streets and tackling issues so they don’t remain.

Over an eight month period, the squad was recognized for working closely in communities, including making a number of arrests and recovering weapons, but also reaching out to the community and partnering with a ministry in the Princess Anne Plaza. 

“They built relationships and they also enforced laws to build quality of life for the members of that community,” the sergeant said of the officers.

And Cheatham grew up in the community his team was helping. He’s been with the police department for two decades and worked as a sheriff’s deputy for four years before that.

Makin, too, was among the officers recognized in the unit citation award, and, also last year, he was the precinct’s officer of the quarter, in part, for his work investigating drug sales in Cardinal Estates. It led to the recovery of drugs and a weapon – and to arrests.

Makin said in an interview that he was honored to be recognized, and he credited the committee with taking the time to celebrate the hard work of police officers.

“I’m grateful the CAC gives officers an opportunity to receive awards like that,” he said.

He was recognized for a number of achievements during the year, including felony cases and efforts that led to arrests and improvements in communities. He’s now serving as a detective in property crimes, and he was in a suit and tie the night he received the award.

Squires mentioned the Cardinal Estates case, among other accomplishments, and he added that Makin was at almost every community event and distinguished himself by working on cases and keeping an eye on the big picture. 

© 2018 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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