The Washington State Patrol (WSP) added 44 newly commissioned troopers to its ranks on Wednesday, Nov. 16 during the 116th Trooper Basic Training graduation ceremony held at the Capitol Rotunda in Olympia.
Among the 44 graduates is Anthony J. Hildebrand of Yelm. He will be stationed in Wenatchee.
The graduation marks the completion of more than 1,400 hours of rigorous training, including classroom and practical exercises at the WSP Academy in Shelton, according to a news release.
The training culminated with a coaching trip where the cadets worked alongside a field training officer.
The combined efforts of the new class resulted in 8,371 driver contacts, the removal of 599 impaired drivers on the roadways, 1,038 collision investigations and 2,920 motorist assists during their two-month long coaching trip, according to the release.
Chief John R. Batiste extended his gratitude to the graduates, as well as to their families for sacrificing time with their loved ones as they became WSP troopers.
“There has never been a more critical time in history, in this state … than now to have you join the ranks of this profession, and in particular, this organization,” Chief Batiste said during the graduation ceremony. “The people are in need of your services. I am excited for you. I am thrilled for you.”
The new troopers were sworn in by Chief Justice Steven C. Gonzalez, leading to an eruption of applause and cheers from family, friends and colleagues watching on, according to the release from WSP.
“The class will report to their new assignments across the state to begin new duties of keeping Washington state’s roadways safe,” stated WSP in the release.
“We’re suffering an all-time high in terms of fatality collisions that are occurring dating back to 2005,” Batiste said. “You’re here to help us curb that trend in the right direction.”
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