Three new TPD officers take oaths of office

Walkiria Quiroz, Matthew Watkins and Lewis Lomba
Jul. 23, 2013 @ 04:52 PM

Thomasville Police Department welcomed three new officers to its family.

Officers Walkiria Quiroz, Matthew Watkins and Lewis Lomba officially joined the force during a swearing-in ceremony on July 16. Mayor Joe Bennett presided over the ceremony as all three newcomers read their oath of office with one hand on the Bible. 

"I'm very proud and am looking forward to what they contribute," said TPD Chief Jeff Insley. "I'm looking forward to having them in the family and I'm excited. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have them join our family."

At 31, Lomba, a Rhode Island native, is the oldest of the new officers. After spending six years in the Army, Lomba, who served a tour of duty in Iraq, decided it was time to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a police officer. Lomba and his fiance, Sandy Benge, have three children. 

"It was the perfect career for me after being in the military," Lomba said. "I wanted to serve my country and then give back to the community.  I think I can bring a lot of experience. I'm not that old but I do have a lot of experience under my belt. I like working with people and doing volunteer work."

Watkins, a 21-year-old Trinity High School School alumnus, recently graduated from Davidson County Community College with a criminal justice degree. Being from Archdale, Watkins feels his familiarity with the area will help him acclimate quickly to his new surroundings. 

"It feels good," said Watkins. "I'm getting to join a great group of people who have a lot of knowledge. It's a fun and exciting experience to have. One day I woke up and decided I wanted to [become a police officer]. I put my mind to it and here I am."

Quiroz moved to Mocksville from Miami five years ago and graduated from Davie County High School. Quiroz also graduated from DCCC with a criminal justice degree and is bilingual, speaking fluent Spanish. Although she may be short in stature, Quiroz, 21, is ready to show good police officers can come in all shapes and sizes.

"I think I can prove that not every police officer has to be big and strong," Quiroz said. "I think with so much diversity we have these days you can show that you can be a female police officer with no questions asked and do it well." 

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578 or