Commissioner Jeff Long of Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security on Saturday, Dec. 14 welcomed the newest troopers of Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), Cadet Class 1219. The graduation ceremony took place at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church in Nashville.
The 37 cadets earned their badges and delivered their oaths of office after completing 20-weeks of intense physical and classroom training at THP Training Center.
“It’s a great honor to join Governor Bill Lee today as we graduate the first trooper class under his administration,” Commissioner Long said. “This class went through extensive training and preparation during their 20-weeks of training. This job isn’t easy, nor are the requirements to become a Tennessee State Trooper. They have worked hard and earned their place among Tennessee’s finest.”
The 37 graduates of Cadet Class 1219 included 10 veterans, 13 have a bachelor’s degree, six have an associate’s degree, one was an EMT, and eight had various other backgrounds.
Colonel Dereck R. Stewart said, “Each time that we graduate a class of new troopers, I feel extremely proud and honored. Our troopers play a significant role in keeping Tennessee safe and secure.
“Our training is challenging and is not easy. Our goal is to prepare our troopers for the challenges that today’s law enforcement face daily.
“Today, I am proud to call them Tennessee State Troopers. There is no doubt they are going to face increasing challenges. But I am confident they will approach their duties with honor, pride, service, and as professional law enforcement officers.”
Trooper Alexander Carrick of Lawrence County was named 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.
As part of a class community service project, Class 1219 participated in a blood drive with American Red Cross, collecting 29 units of blood. Class 1219 also collected $412 dollars to go along with toys that will be donated to Toys for Tots program.
The new graduates will continue their training with troopers classified as Field Training Officers, totaling more than 400 hours of hands-on experience in the field.
New trooper James T. Owens was assigned to the Putnam County district.
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.