A group of new state troopers received their badges in a ceremony Thursday afternoon in Salina. The 11 troopers are part of KHP Recruit Class #52, the latest graduates from the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy in Salina.
Director Ed Pavey from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center spoke. He told the new troopers to remember three things to help guide them in their law enforcement careers, and in life.
1. Never compromise your integrity.
2. You, and only you, control your attitude.
3. Take care of your family.
Recruit Class President Ryan Clark also spoke. He reinforced the class “golden rule”. He said “always come home after your shift”. Clark said that one of the things that makes him most proud is that all 11 recruits who began the class persevered, and graduated. He ended with a quote from John Wayne. “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”
KHP Superintendent Colonel Ernest Garcia spoke as well. He spoke about the patrol’s core values. “This is all about serving your fellow man,” he said. “What better career can you ask for?”
KHP Recruit Class #52 began 23 weeks of training at the academy in Salina on March 20th. This will be the only KHP trooper class completing their training this year.
As family, friends, peers, and supporters looked on each new trooper received their badge, and their assignment. They now will go through
field-training before going out on patrol on the road alone.
Among the supporters who turned out to watch the ceremony was Professor John Burchill, who teaches criminal justice at Kansas Wesleyan University. Burchill was there to watch Derek Bledsoe, one of his former students, graduate. He tells KSAL News that the last three graduating classes at the KHP academy have had a former KWU student in them. Burchill says “it never gets old attending these ceremonies”.
The graduation comes at a unique time, as the patrol currently has the hiring process underway for the next class of troopers, Class #53, who will begin their careers with the Patrol in January. Additionally, an application phase is open for the second class that will go through the Academy in 2014, Class #54, who will begin their careers in July.