The Kentucky State Police Academy presented diplomas to 35 new troopers at a graduation ceremony held in Frankfort today. Their addition to the force brings the agency’s strength to a total of 809 troopers serving the citizens of the Commonwealth.
“It is a profound honor today to welcome the newest members of the Commonwealth’s ‘Thin Gray Line’,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “The Kentucky State Police’s 97th cadet class carries forward an incomparable tradition of servant leadership to our communities. As Kentuckians, we are grateful for their sacrificial service, we pray for their safety, and we commit to support them even as they serve and protect us.”
KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders said the new troopers were a welcome addition to the ranks, noting that 58 troopers retired from the agency in 2017. “Who will fill their shoes,” he asked. “Who will walk in their footsteps and protect the citizens of the Commonwealth?”
Sanders challenged the families and friends of the new troopers to help in the recruitment process.
“One of the best ways to support current troopers is to make sure the agency has a steady flow of quality recruits to maintain our strength in the field,” he said. “So keep us in mind when talking to your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts and neighbors about careers. Law enforcement is a noble profession that provides opportunities to contribute to society in many positive ways.”
Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley praised the dedication of the new troopers.
“I’m immensely proud of the hard work and commitment these troopers have demonstrated at the academy and eager to have them serving our communities,” he said. “We should all be thankful to have so many professionals at KSP who are dedicated to public safety and willing to make sacrifices on our behalf.”
The new troopers are part of the agency’s 97th cadet class. They reported for training on Aug. 12, 2018 in a class that consisted of 61 cadets. Twenty-six resigned during the program.
The training included more than 1,000 hours of classroom and field study in subjects such as constitutional law, juvenile and traffic law, use of force, weapons training, defensive tactics, first aid, high speed vehicle pursuit, criminal investigation, computer literacy, hostage negotiations, evidence collection, radio procedures, search and seizure, crash investigation, drug identification, traffic control, crowd control, armed robbery response, land navigation, electronic crimes, sex crimes, hate crimes, domestic violence, bomb threats and hazardous materials.
Several members of the class earned special recognitions including valedictorian Brandon Boggs, of Lawrenceburg, Ky., and salutatorian Weston Sullivan, of Campbellsville, Ky.
Matthew Spears, of Lawrenceburg, Ky., received the Ernie Bivens Award, an honor presented to the cadet who, in the opinion of the KSP Academy staff supported by input from the cadets themselves, shows distinction as a class leader, strives for academic excellence and has excelled in all phases of the academy’s physical and vocational training.
Steven Davidson, of Hyden, Ky., received the Commissioner’s Commitment to Excellence Award, which is presented to cadets who demonstrate leadership, the desire to get the job done and the determination to be the best every day.
Seven cadets earned associate’s degrees in general occupational and technical studies from the Bluegrass Community and Technical College during the training. They include:
Jonathan Bowman, of London, Ky.
Nicholas Brummett, of Pineville, Ky.
Shane Jacobs, of Pippa Passes, Ky.
Casey Keown, of Caneyville, Ky.
Jordan Matthews, of Glasgow, Ky.
Katan Parker, of Bowling Green, Ky.
Austin Ramage, of Boaz, Ky.
The cadets are the second group to benefit from new hiring guidelines established by the legislature in 2017. Through this revision, anyone who possesses a high school diploma or GED and has three years of full-time work experience can apply for employment as a Kentucky State Trooper and earn an associate’s degree during the training process.
The following is a list of the new troopers, their duty assignments and their hometowns or residences:
POST 1, MAYFIELD
Justin Fox, Scottsville, Ky.
Austin Ramage, Boaz, Ky.
James Stewart, Steele, Mo.
POST 2, MADISONVILLE
Trevor High, Tompkinsville, Ky.
James Martin, Belton, Ky.
Ridge Porter, Beechmont, Ky.
POST 3, BOWLING GREEN
Brent Davis, Bowling Green, Ky.
Jordan Matthews, Glasgow, Ky.
Matthew Spears, Lawrenceburg, Ky.
POST 4, ELIZABETHTOWN
Casey Keown, Caneyville, Ky.
POST 5, CAMPBELLSBURG
Sheldon Kapp, Buckner, Ky.
Tyler Shaw, Louisville, Ky.
POST 6, DRY RIDGE
Jonathan Bowman, London, Ky.
Rickey Elmore, LaGrange, Ky.
Chris Johnson, Corbin, Ky.
POST 8, MOREHEAD
Darrell Hicks, London, Ky.
Tanner Johnson, Annville, Ky.
Leoncio Leal, Los Angeles, Ca.
Logan Miracle, Middlesboro, Ky.
Phillip Montgomery, Winchester, Ky.
Gary Smith, Morehead, Ky.
POST 9 PIKEVILLE
Billy Ball, Prestonsburg, Ky.
Nicholas Brummett, Pineville, Ky.
Shane Jacobs, Pippa Passes, Ky.
Mahala Lewis, Pleasureville, Ky.
Dylan Mullins, Melvin, Ky.
Katan Parker, Bowling Green, Ky.
Joshua Scott, West Van Lear, Ky.
POST 12, FRANKFORT
Brandon Boggs, Lawrenceburg, Ky.
Matthew Brumley, Somerset, Ky.
POST 14, ASHLAND
Patrick Bailey, Hazard, Ky.
Steven Davidson, Hyden, Ky.
Jansen Hacker, London, Ky.
James Rowland, Flat Gap, Ky.
POST 15, COLUMBIA
Weston Sullivan, Campbellsville, Ky.
Each new trooper will be supervised by a training officer for eight weeks after reporting to their post assignments.
For information about a career as a Kentucky State Police Trooper, visit the KSP recruitment website at http://kentuckystatepolice.org/recruitment/ . Applicants may also call the recruitment office toll-free at 1-866-360-3165 during office hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday or leave a message any other time.