Governor Bill Haslam joined the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security in welcoming 44 State Troopers to the Highway Patrol on Friday morning. Trooper Cadet Class 311 took their oath of office in a graduation ceremony at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church in Hermitage.
“One of the most fulfilling careers is one of public service,” said Governor Haslam. “Today, I am honored to celebrate the graduation of the 44 men and women who have answered the call to serve this great state and its’ citizens through the Tennessee Highway Patrol. As you move forward in your careers, I encourage each of you to perform your duties with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity, and I assure you, ‘where you lead, Tennesseans will follow.’”
Members of Cadet Class 311 have spent the past 18 weeks undergoing extensive law enforcement instruction at the department’s Training Center. The more than 852 hours of classroom training included criminal and constitutional law, patrol procedures, professional ethical conduct and firearms. The new graduates will now advance to a maximum of 12 weeks of field training.
“My congratulations and gratitude goes out to each and every one of the graduates today,” said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons. “Your presence on our roads and highways and in our communities is invaluable. Remember, the oath of office you take today will have a lasting impact on the lives of all Tennesseans…make us proud.”
Twenty of the 44 Cadets have previous law enforcement experience, and fourteen were members of the military. As part of their training, the cadets participated in several service projects and as a class voted to pack shoe box gifts for Operation Christmas Child, a project of international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. They were also involved with Sole for Souls, the American Red Cross Blood Drive and Room in the Inn for the homeless.
“We began this class with 63 cadets,” said THP Colonel Tracy Trott. “Today, 44 of you have earned the right to wear the uniform of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. As the Trooper creed says, ‘many are called, but few are chosen,’ so represent us with pride. There is no more important job than what you do.”
During the ceremony, Trooper Ryan Dalton was named the top cadet in the class for his leadership, work ethic and academics and presented with the Calvin Jenks Memorial Award for Excellence. The award was named in honor of the late Trooper Jenks, who was killed in the line of duty in January 2007. Trooper Dalton is assigned to Lincoln County in the Lawrenceburg District.
Friday’s exercise included a processional of graduates, THP Honor Guard and the Oath of Office by Commissioner Gibbons.