Gov. Mary Fallin commended the new troopers for their decisions to join the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
“It requires a tremendous amount of sacrifice. You put in long hours,” Fallin said. “There probably were some days that you wondered, ‘Why in the heck are they making me do this?' and probably some days of ‘Can I do this?' But you all have proven that you are up for the task and that you are committed, dedicated.”
20 weeks of training
Trooper Cody Willis, chosen as the class spokesman, told stories of the cadets' time during their 20-week training and the bonds they formed.
“I distinctly remember one counselor asking us if we knew how to eat an elephant. Nobody knew the answer to that. He said ‘you eat it one bite at a time,' and he told us to keep that mind as we go through this academy,” Willis said.
The new troopers will be paired with a senior trooper for three months to learn the ropes in the area they will patrol.
“We aren't just going to throw them out there and have them get started,” trooper Betsy Randolph said. “They are actually going to learn that county of assignment with that senior trooper — from taking someone into custody to taking them to jail, booking them in, and going through the court system with them.”
The patrol received 590 applications for next year's academy and will select about 50 cadets, Randolph said.
“Becoming a state trooper is a dream some of us have had since we were young,” Willis said. “There is something about chasing cars and arresting bad guys that appeal to us for some reason. This is one of those hero jobs that everyone seems to want and most adults wish they could do.”