Tennessee Highway Patrol Graduates 56 New State Troopers

Friday, July 12, 2013

Governor Bill Haslam on Friday welcomed 56 state troopers to the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) in a graduation ceremony at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church in Hermitage. This is the third consecutive and largest trooper cadet class to graduate under the Haslam administration.

The graduating troopers in Cadet Class 713 took their oaths of office after 19 weeks and more than 1,000 hours of extensive classroom and law enforcement instruction at the THP Training Center. The class motto was “Live with Honor. Serve with Pride.”

“Congratulations to Trooper Cadet Class 713 on graduating and becoming a part of Tennessee’s finest,” Governor Haslam said. “‘Live with honor. Serve with pride.’ is the motto that you have chosen for your class. I hope you will take those six words to heart, wear the badge of the Tennessee Highway Patrol with integrity and help protect the citizens of this state with courage and pride.”

The THP Cadet Academy began with 64 prospective troopers on March 1. On Friday, 56 cadets graduated, including 25 with law enforcement and military experience, 20 with bachelor’s degrees and 10 active military members. Four of the graduating cadets are female.

“As a result of a change in our state law proposed by Governor Haslam known as the TEAM Act, we were able to apply higher standards in the selection of this trooper cadet class,” said Commissioner Bill Gibbons. “These new troopers represent the very best from over two thousand applicants. Our state will benefit greatly from their public service.”

The trooper cadets participated in several community service programs during the four-month training. They held two blood drives for the American Red Cross, donated more than 50 personal hygiene kits to children of foster care through the Department of Children’s Services, and raised $600 to the Frankie N. Watson Scholarship Fund, a scholarship program for high school students in east Tennessee. The scholarship fund was established by Sgt. Lowell Russell, a friend of fallen U.S. Marine Frankie Watson.  

Trooper Joe Taylor was named the top cadet and presented the Calvin Jenks Memorial Award for Excellence for his leadership, work ethic and academics. The award was named in honor of the late Trooper Jenks, who was killed in the line of duty in January 2007. Trooper Taylor was assigned to Greene County in the THP Fall Branch District.

“We have given you the resources to be successful as a Tennessee State Trooper. Once you walk out of those doors, it’s up to you to use the knowledge and skills you’ve gained to the best of your ability,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “I challenge each and every one of you to make a difference in your assigned counties and be of good service to citizens statewide." 

The new graduates will now advance to a maximum of 10 weeks of field training.    

Friday’s ceremony included a processional of graduates, the presentation of the colors by the THP Honor Guard and the Oath of Office administered by Commissioner Gibbons. 

A list of the new troopers and their assigned counties can be found on the following link: http://www.tn.gov/safety/thp/class713.shtml


Bradley County Justice Center Hosts Open House On Nov. 2

There will be an Open House at the Bradley County Justice Center at 2290 Blythe Ave., Southeast in Cleveland. The event will be free and open to the public on Sunday, Nov. 2 ,  from 2-4 p.m. There will be guided tours of the administrative section, Criminal Investigations Division, including the forensics lab, patrol section, as well as corrections and judicial services. ... (click for more)

Dr. Carol Berz Speaks On Transparency At Brainerd Kiwanis Club

Councilwoman Dr. Carol Berz told the Brainerd Kiwanis Club, "'Transparency' is a hackneyed word, but I really believe in it." She said of the city government, "We're really trying to be totally accountable...You can go online and see the city budget. It's all information that before was behind closed doors."  Of her six years representing the sixth district, Dr. Berz ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Teenager Killed In ATV Accident Thursday Night

Damon Lee Jones, 15, was killed Thursday night in an ATV accident in Walker County. It was reported he was riding with a 17-year old, when they tried to enter a church parking lot, but ran into a cable barrier. The accident happened on Dunwoody Road in LaFayette. The other rider, identified as Timothy J. Wallin, was not injured.   (click for more)

Tom Dugan Was A Good Man

Tom was my boss for most of my 36 years at Carta.  At the ceremony where I was awarded my 30-year service award, Tom said, "Don disagrees with 85% of my decisions, but I wish I had 80 more employees just like him." This kind of indicates our relationship. When I asked him to help with my plans for a reunion for the group of Veterans that I served with in Vietnam, he quickly ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)