A group of Kansas Highway Patrol recruits had their badges pinned on Thursday afternoon in Salina and officially became troopers. The 20 new state troopers were part of KHP Recruit Class #55, the latest graduates from the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy.
A large portion of the new troopers have a special bond with the agency. Seven of the 20 new troopers have fathers who were also state troopers.
Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent Colonel Mark Bruce was among those who spoke. He told the new troopers that because of them, the highways in Kansas will be safer, and lives will be saved. “Very few people have a job with that kind of reward,” he concluded.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback also spoke. He said that across this country “we do not appreciate law enforcement, it’s a different world.” The Governor continued “we need people who will step up and enforce the law fairly so we have a safe, civil society.” He told the class of troopers to remember three things:
- They are going into service for a great state. They should get to know the local communities in which they will be serving. Each is unique, with unique stories and history.
- They should develop bonds with their peers in law enforcement. These bonds in some cases will last forever.
- They should find a mentor. Find someone who has been with the agency, maybe someone like a 20-year-veteran, and learn all they can from that person.
The class then took their oath of duty and received their badges, each being pinned by a loved one. Spouses, parents, and siblings including a combat wounded brother had the honor of pinning on the badges.
According to the patrol, throughout their time at the training academy, recruits have gone through classroom and practical training. They have learned accident investigation techniques; testing of impaired drivers; Kansas laws and statutes; among many other things. They have practiced car stops; at the firing range; defensive tactics; testing for DUI; and other critical training components that they will need to incorporate as they are on their own out on the road.
KHP Recruit Class #55 began their training at the Patrol’s Troop J, the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy in Salina in July. The new troopers will now take residence in their assigned counties, and will begin the field training with a veteran trooper in their assigned area.
The graduation this week concluded the recruits’ 23 weeks of training.
The graduation ceremony included a tribute to Technical Trooper Bill Goodness, who passed away earlier this fall following a long battle with cancer.
The graduation comes at a unique time, as the agency currently has the application and hiring process underway for the next class of troopers, KHP Class #56, who will begin their careers with the Patrol in July of 2016.
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