(FORSYTH) – The Georgia State Patrol graduated its 102nd Trooper School on Friday, May 11, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth. After 32 weeks of intense training, 39 new troopers will report to patrol posts throughout the state on Monday, June 18. Governor Nathan Deal was the keynote speaker. Additional remarks were given by Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Capt. Scott Woodell, Director of Training. The Oath of Office was issued by Judge Brian Rickman of the Georgia Court of Appeals.
“There has been an increase in economic growth in Georgia and this success also affects public safety. As our trooper strength increases with each trooper school, the number of fatal crashes decreases,” states Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.
Trooper Cadets spend 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks in field training. The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires that all peace officers receive a minimum of 400 hours of Basic Mandate Training. At the completion of Trooper School, these newly graduated trooper cadets received over 1,500 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, class president, Tpr. Robert B. Godown, reflected on the brotherhood they had created over the past 32 weeks and that the sacrifice they made to become a trooper was well worth it.
Three of the graduates received special honors for top performance in various fields of study. The honorees were:
Highest Firearms Proficiency – Tpr. Erich M. Goen (Score: 299.2 out of 300)
Highest Driving Proficiency – Tpr. Jimmy B. James
Highest Academic Average – Tpr. Steven A. Harris (Score: 99.30 out of 100)
Top Gun – Tpr. Erich M. Goen