Smithfield Police Officer earns ‘Top Cop’ award for dedication to department, community

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SMITHFIELD, Va. -  After twenty years on the force, Sgt. Patrick Araojo is still just as passionate about his job as he was on day one.

"I love being a police officer," Araojo said, "It's something I've always wanted to do."

Growing up, Araojo says officers played a big part in putting him on the right path.

"I looked up to police officers and once I straightened out, I realized I could give back and do for others what I needed done for me."

Because of his commitment to the police department and drive to go beyond the call of duty,  he was recently chosen as Smithfield Police Department's 'Top Cop.'

His main role is working as a Patrol Sergeant, but he's taken on a long list of other responsibilities.

He was instrumental in the design and development of the new Property and Evidence building, was recently assigned to be Assistant Team Leader on the Emergency Response Team, and helps out at the YMCA as part of a partnership they have with the department.

"We will perform classes, safety classes, on our own time and assist the members, particularly problems involving safety [and] anti-bullying," Araojo said.

Whatever role he's taking on, if you ask him the best part of his job, it's an easy answer.

"Helping," Araojo told News 3.  "It's a noble profession being a police officer... I'm proud of what I do and my kids are proud of me."