Meet Our Staff

Lieutenant Richard Fender

 Academy Director
Phone: (540) 853-2286
Lt.FenderR.A.Lieutenant Fender graduated from Radford University in May of 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He began his career with the Roanoke Police Department in August of 1999. Lieutenant Fender graduated from the National Criminal Justice Command College in September of 2019.

While an officer with the police department, Lieutenant Fender served as both a patrol officer and warrant service officer prior to becoming a detective. As a detective, he served as a vice detective, property crimes detective and then became the department’s first domestic violence detective.

In November of 2006, Lieutenant Fender was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was assigned to the patrol bureau on Alpha Platoon. Lieutenant Fender also served as a sergeant over the street crimes unit, vice unit and property crimes unit until being promoted to the rank of lieutenant in September of 2017.

Lieutenant Fender was assigned to Bravo Platoon in the patrol bureau as well as Alpha Platoon until being named the Director of the Roanoke Police Academy in October of 2019.

Sergeant Ben Masters

Assistant Police Academy Director
Phone: (540) 853-5602
Sergeant Ben Masters grew up in Bedford VA and graduated from Virginia Tech in 2003.  He joined the Roanoke Police Department in January of 2005 in Class 55 of the Roanoke Police Training Academy.  After graduation, he was assigned to the Patrol Division.  In 2009, he was transferred to the Property Crimes then Special Victims Unit.  In 2012, he was assigned to the Training Academy as Background Investigator and in 2013 assigned back to investigations in Major Crimes.  In October of 2017, he was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to Bravo Platoon.  He was assigned to the Roanoke Training Academy again in 2019.

Investigator Loren Ford

Wellness Coordinator
Phone: (540) 853-6406
Inv. Loren Ford
Investigator Loren Ford is the Wellness Coordinator and Defensive Tactics Instructor at the Roanoke Police Academy. His responsibilities include ensuring that the recruits can physically perform the duties of law enforcement, defensive tactics training, applicant background investigations, and assisting officers in improving their physical fitness status.

Loren graduated with a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Roanoke College. He began his law enforcement career in 1986 with the City of Roanoke. From 1997 to 2002 he continued his career in Florida and then returned to home to Roanoke. 

Loren was a field training officer from 1993 until 2012. He spent 20 years in Patrol before being assigned to Warrant Service for five years. Loren attended the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, GA and was a Special Deputy U. S. Marshal on the Fugitive Task Force. He has been an evidence technician for Forensic Services. Loren is a certified law enforcement fitness specialist and has competed in numerous fitness competitions. He won the 2010 Southeast Regional Lawfit competition and was a member of the mixed pairs National Champions in 2010, 2011, and 2012. He was also a member of the Four-man team National Runners-up in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2013. 

Loren is married to Anastasia and the father of Alexis, who is a graduate of Christopher Newport University.

Investigator John Smith

Background Investigator
Phone: (540) 853-5438
Inv. John SmithInvestigator John Smith is the Recruiter and a Background Investigator for the Roanoke Police Academy. He is a defensive tactics and physical training instructor, as well as a criminal/constitutional law instructor. His responsibilities include preparing the academy recruits for the physical demands of law enforcement, applicant background investigations, and coordinating recruiting events for various positions in the police department. In addition, he also maintains the role of Community Policing Specialist and is a Hostage Negotiator.

Investigator Smith graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Radford University in 1999, and received a M.S. in Criminal Justice from Radford University in 2014. He began his law enforcement career with the City of Roanoke in 2000.

Investigator Smith spent seven years in patrol, where he served as a Field Training Officer. He spent nine years in the Warrant Service Unit and continued to train as a Field Training Officer. Investigator Smith was sworn in as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal and received additional training in fugitive apprehension at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, GA. Investigator Smith joined the Academy Staff in 2018.

Investigator Anna Volk

Background Investigator
Phone: (540) 853-5441
Inv. Anna VolkInvestigator Anna Volk is from Oklahoma. After moving to Roanoke in 2009, she started the Roanoke Police Training Academy in August of 2011 in Class 64. After graduation she went to Charlie Platoon for patrol and worked as a Southeast unit for 4 years. She became a Field Training Officer in 2013 and was transferred to the Criminal Investigations Unit in 2015. While in the Criminal Investigations Unit, she was assigned to the Property Crimes Unit and Special Victims Unit.

She is a Physical Training Instructor and has competed in the National and Regional Lawfit Competitions in 2013, 2014 and 2018. She is also a De-Escalation and CPR Instructor.

Officer Brad Daniels

Lead Firearms Instructor
Phone: (540) 853-5361
Inv. Brad DanielsRange Officer B. A. Daniels was born and raised in Marion, Indiana. In 2005, he enlisted in the Unites States Marine Corps and served active duty until 2009 during which he deployed twice in support of “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” He joined the Roanoke Police Department in 2010 and was class president for the 63rd Basic Academy. He has prior experience on patrol, in honor guard, and in the Forensic Services Unit. Daniels is currently an operator on the Tactical Response Team where he was also a sniper for several years. He is currently assigned to the Police Academy as a Firearms Instructor.