Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, announces that 31 troopers graduated from the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy today, Wednesday, January 20, 2021. The ceremony was by invitation only due to the coronavirus guidelines; however, it was made available to the public and the media live via the Patrol’s Facebook page Facebook.com/motrooper. The graduation ceremony began at 10 a.m. The 110th Recruit Class reported to the Academy on August 3, 2020. The new troopers report for duty in their assigned troops on February 16, 2021.
- Missouri Governor Mike Parson provided the keynote address. First Lady Teresa Parson also attended the event. Col. Olson addressed the class during the graduation. The Honorable Cotton Walker, 19th Judicial Circuit Civil Judge, state of Missouri, administered the Oath of Office to the new troopers. Provost Roger K. McMillian, vice president of College Affairs for Mineral Area College, conferred an associate of applied science degree to 12 of the new troopers. Trooper Cole P. Justice, 110th Recruit Class, sang the national anthem. Trooper Zachary L. Ricker, 110th Recruit Class chaplain, provided the invocation and benediction.
- Four class awards were presented. The recruits accumulated points toward graduation in the categories of physical fitness, firearms, and academics throughout their 25 weeks at the Academy. The person with the highest number of points in each category earned the respective award. Trooper Samuel S. Base accepted the Physical Fitness Award. Trooper Zachary T. Costley accepted the Academics Award. Trooper David T. Craig accepted the Firearms Award. Trooper Alex C. Philipps accepted the Superintendent’s Award, which is presented to the person with the most points overall.
Some local residents who graduated from from the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy include, Zachariah P. Beckerman (Jackson, MO), Zone 12, Jefferson County, John M. Tomaszewski (Sikeston, MO), Zone 10, Dunklin County, William A. Wadlington (Oran, MO), Zone 5, Douglas/Ozark Counties and Alex C. Philipps (Jackson, MO), Zone 4, Pulaski/Maries Counties.