Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.
Fredericksburg’s Finest on Fridays – Officer Mo Chaudri
Position/Rank: Police Officer
Years of service: 1
“I was an attack bowler.”
This was the answer I got from Officer Mo Chaudri when I asked him to tell me something about himself that was unique and unusual. As I reached for an intelligent follow-up question to this revelation, I tried to visualize the venerable sport of attack bowling.
Mo quickly came to my rescue. “Cricket! I was a star cricket player!”
Playing cricket is hardly the typical athletic background for a police officer in this country, but Mo is originally from Punjab, a large region in South Asia made up of territories in northern India and eastern Pakistan. After obtaining a degree in commerce from Punjab University, Mo immigrated with his family to the United States in 1999. He has since earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University and is currently pursuing his MBA.
In 2009, Mo joined the United States Army and he served for twelve months in Afghanistan in the middle of his three-year military commitment. He took advantage of the educational opportunities offered by the Army by finishing his degree while serving, and he also helped his fellow soldiers by giving presentations about the GI Bill and the availability of online learning to advance their careers.
He became a U.S. citizen while on active duty.
When Mo decided to pursue law enforcement as a profession, he had the full support of his wife Beenish and their ten-year-old son. Mo has worked hard his entire life to pursue an education and he took the initiative to send himself through the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy without a law enforcement agency sponsor. This commitment to achieving his goal of a career in police work was impressive, and Mo was hired by the Fredericksburg Police Department upon graduation from the Academy.
He is assigned to the midnight patrol shift.
It’s common for rookie officers to work midnights as their first assignment, and it can be tough adjusting to the all night patrol plus mandatory court and training details. When I asked him about that, Mo seemed less overwhelmed by his current lack of sleep than by the anticipated disruption in his sleep routine that is bound to come with the arrival of his second son, due in early December. “We are very excited!” he told me with a big smile, “and very happy!”
Despite being on the street for only a year, Mo has already experienced two shootings, intervened in a number of assaults, and investigated countless property crimes, but the uncertainty of each night’s work has done nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for his new calling. His background and fluency in multiple languages of India and Pakistan has proven to be a great benefit in relating to victims and witnesses with similar cultural histories, and Mo noted that there is a strong contingent of residents and business owners in Fredericksburg who are originally from South Asia.
This ability to connect with people was demonstrated on an international stage when Mo was stationed with his Army unit outside Kabul in Afghanistan. Then an E-4, SPC Chaudri took it upon himself to teach the other soldiers in his battalion the intricacies of cricket.
The unit set up a playing field on the helicopter landing pad located inside their camp, and they frequently had to suspend play in order to allow for take-off and landings. Mo managed to convince their Afghan allies who were also assigned to the base to participate in a friendly cricket match pitting the American soldiers against the Afghan troops.
I’m pleased to report that Team U.S.A., led by attack bowler Mo Chaudri, was victorious.
Check out last month’s featured finest: CPO Heather Lloyd