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99th Washington State Patrol basic training class graduates

At a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda this afternoon, 44 Washington State Patrol Troopers were sworn in by Retired Washington State Supreme Court Justice Gerry L. Alexander, and presented their commission cards by Governor Christine Gregoire and Chief John R. Batiste, who welcomed them into an organization known and trusted by the citizens of Washington.

After completing 26 weeks of rigorous training at State Patrol’s Academy and another eight weeks working the road with experienced troopers, these men and woman will now join Washington’s premier law enforcement organization.  The Washington State Patrol Academy only produces approximately three cadet classes each biennium, which accounts for about 120 new troopers.  Historically, only about three percent of the total numbers of applicants make the grade to become WSP Troopers.

“Today we celebrate these fine men and women who successfully completed the tough and demanding training we required of them to be a Trooper,” said Chief John Batiste.  “We wish them all well as they start their new challenging, but extremely rewarding careers, serving the people of our state as  Washington State Troopers.”

A tradition that started over 90 years ago on June 8, 1921, when six brave men kick-started their Indian motorcycles, strapped on an arm band, and started a proud tradition known today as the Washington State Patrol.  The tradition continues to this day with the graduation of the 99th Trooper Basic Training Class today at the Capitol Rotunda.

During the ceremony, the Core Values Award was presented to Trooper Ryan O. Dacey.  This award is presented to the trooper cadet who most typifies the Training Division Core Values, which includes Honesty, Integrity, Team-Orientated, Attention to Detail, Adaptability, Self-Discipline, Performance-Driven, Professionalism, Officer Safety, and Sense of Urgency.  The recipient of this award is determined by an anonymous vote of his/her classmates, and is sponsored by the Washington State Patrol Memorial Foundation to honor the most recent State Patrol employee to give their life in service to the citizens of the state of Washington.  For the past nine years Billie Saunders, wife of Trooper Jim Saunders who was killed on October 7, 1999, presented the Core Values Award.  This year, Billie Saunders was accompanied by Erick Radulescu, son of Trooper Tony Radulescu, who was killed in the line of duty on February 23, 2012.  Erick Radulescu presented the award to Trooper Dacey in honor of his father.

In addition to this award, Chief Batiste presented six trooper cadets with awards at a ceremony held on March 29 during an open house at the WSP Academy.  These awards included:

Top Driving Award
Presented to Trooper Michael R. Johnson; this award recognizes the highest level of proficiency with respect to driving skills and techniques, decision-making and mind-set, and steady and constant improvement through each phase of driver training (104 hours).

Top Firearms Award
Presented to Trooper Theodore M. Shook; this award recognizes the highest level of proficiency with all weapon systems, marksmanship scores and skills, and demonstration of sound judgment during practical encounter scenarios (110 hours).

Top Fitness Award
Presented to Trooper Jordon H. Hillstrom; this award recognizes the highest level of drive and tenacity in physical fitness testing and training, and control tactics training. Trooper Hillstrom led the way by out-scoring his classmates repeatedly, and scoring above 90% in every event and every time he was tested.

Top Academic Award
Presented to Trooper Susan K. Harbour; this award recognizes the outstanding efforts of the cadet who attains the highest Grade Point Average compiled from over 30 tests and quizzes during training.   The class average GPA for the 99th Trooper Basic Training Class was 89%; Trooper Harbour’s GPA was an impressive 95%.

Top Collision Investigation Award
Presented to Trooper Anatoliy V. Nazariya; this award recognizes the highest level of proficiency regarding collision investigation, including mathematical computation, scene investigation, information and evidence gathering, report writing, and teamwork (64 hours).

Top Overall Cadet Award
Presented to Trooper David F. Kiehl; this award recognizes the trooper cadet who demonstrated great courage to overcome obstacles, unwavering dedication to stay focused on reaching their goals, and their ability to give 100% in every aspect of their training.  Trooper Kiehl demonstrated the necessary skills, abilities, and judgment to be an excellent trooper, and made extra efforts to continuously make improvements.

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