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Georgia State Patrol Graduated First Accelerated Trooper School This Month

The Georgia State Patrol graduated its 112th Trooper School on Friday, April 8, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth.  After 13 weeks of intense training, 27 new troopers will report to one of the 52 patrol posts throughout the state to complete the field training phase.

Governor Brian P. Kemp was the keynote speaker and issued the Oath of Office.  Colonel Chris C. Wright, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), acknowledged the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) 85th Anniversary and recognized the men and women, both sworn and civilian who have worked for the department. Additionally, remarks were given by Capt. Clayton Kicklighter, Director of Training.

This Trooper School is the first accelerated school of the Georgia State Patrol consisting of all former law enforcement. Instead of the traditional 20 weeks at the academy, these Trooper Cadets spent 13 weeks and will report to their assigned post to complete 12 weeks of field training.  The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires that all peace officers receive a minimum of 408 hours of Basic Mandate Training.  At the completion of Trooper School, these newly graduated troopers received over 1,400 hours of training, including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other training.

During remarks to his fellow class members, Trooper Ethan Sarrell, class president, highlighted the prior law enforcement experience, ranging from two years to 28 years, each of them had before becoming State Troopers. Some were former supervisors, and one was the Chief of Police. “As former deputies, police officers, and game wardens, the members of the 112th are unique and each of us knows what is ahead of us. Although each of us arrived here from different backgrounds, each of us has the same goal…to continue serving and protecting our communities by maintaining law and order as members of the premier agency in the state of Georgia,” emphasized Trooper Sarrell.

Four of the graduates received special honors for top performance in various proficiencies. The honorees were:

Firearms Proficiency – Trooper Matthew Cleveland

Top Gun – Trooper Matthew Cleveland

Driving Proficiency – Trooper Justin Lee

Highest Academic Average – Trooper Matthew Davis

Trooper Davis also received a $5,000 scholarship towards a bachelor’s degree from Reinhardt University for having the highest academic average in his class. This scholarship is named after CPL Chadwick LeCroy who was killed in the line of duty on December 27, 2010.

Additionally, the following graduates were recognized for their leadership: Trooper Zachary Pratz, Vice President; Trooper Larry Mitchell, Secretary; Trooper Larry Mitchell, Treasurer; Trooper Jacob Anderson, Chaplain; Trooper Erik Kolwicz, Sergeant-at-Arms; and Trooper Matthew Cleveland, Pennant Bearer.

Each commissioned trooper will report to the following assigned post:

TROOPER

ASSIGNED POST

HOME COUNTY

Jacob Anderson

Post 46 – Monroe

Walton

Adam Byrd

Post 17 – Washington

McDuffie

Tyler Byrd

Post 42 – Rincon

Chatham

Dustin Clark

Post 41 – LaFayette

Walker

Ryan Cleveland

Post 32 – Athens

Madison

John Cominski

Post 46 – Monroe

Newton

Matthew Davis

Post 45 – Statesboro

Bulloch

David Ford

Post 14 – Colquitt

Miller

Robert Grant

Post 2 – LaGrange

Meriwether

Brent Helton

Post 29 – Paulding

Polk

Jabri Horne

Post 48 – Atlanta

Henry

Walton Ingram

Post 10 – Americus

Calhoun

Erik Kolwicz

Post 45 – Statesboro

Chatham

Justin Lee

Post 42 – Rincon

Lee

Austin Matthews

Post 37 – Cumming

Pickens

Larry Mitchell

Post 24 – Newnan

Coweta

Chase Parker

Post 29 – Paulding

Polk

Kyle Pescetto

Post 24 – Newnan

Coweta

Zachary Pratz

Post 52 – Hartwell

Madison

John Rhodes

Post 17 – Washington

Green

Maya Robertson

Post 47 – Forest Park

Henry

Ethan Sarrell

Post 41 – LaFayette

Walker

Veston Screws

Post 16 – Helena

Jeff Davis

Brandon Sibert

Post 33 – Milledgeville

Hancock

James Spisak

Post 33 – Milledgeville

Putnam

Charles Tierney

Post 47 – Forest Park

Fulton

John Zebro

Post 25 – Grovetown

Columbia

 

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