5 Local Residents Graduate From KSP’s Largest Basic Training Academy Class Since 2014 | Local News

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FRANKFORT, Ky.—Governor Andy Beshear and the Kentucky State Police (KSP) announced Friday that 71 cadets have graduated from the agency’s basic training academy and are now ready to report at work throughout the Commonwealth with a focus on creating a better and safer Kentucky. .

Cadet Class 101 is the largest class of KSP Basic Training Academy since 2014.

“Congratulations to the cadets. Great job completing an intense 24-week training to become a State Trooper,” Governor Beshear said. “I join the people of the Commonwealth in thanking you for your service to others and for helping to make the Commonwealth a better place.”

Cadets reported to the KSP Training Academy on October 3, 2021 to embark on 24 weeks of intense training to learn the job skills needed to perform the duties of a State Trooper to one day wear the insignia of honor as they protect and serve all who live in and visit Kentucky‘s 120 counties. Cadets graduating are committed to upholding KSP’s mission by promoting public safety through service, integrity and professionalism using partnerships to prevent, reduce and deter crime and fear of crime, improve traffic safety through education and enforcement, protect property and protect individual rights.

“Tomorrow is symbolic in many ways. You will begin your first day as a Kentucky State Trooper. Each of you will embark on this independent journey with humility, passion and a thirst to be better every day,” said KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. “Your success rests on your shoulders and what you have learned at academy.

The KSP Training Academy provides cadets with best practices, the latest technology training and legal information to help make the streets of the Commonwealth safer, communities stronger and the nation safer through exceptional law enforcement. Cadet Class 101 graduates have received over 1,000 hours of classroom and field study in subjects including 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, accident investigation , drug identification, traffic enforcement, crowd control, armed robbery response, land navigation, electronic crimes, sex crimes, hate crimes, domestic violence, bomb threats and hazardous materials.

During Friday’s graduation ceremony, KSP Academy Commandant Shawn Darby took a moment to address the class of cadets.

“When you join the Kentucky State Police, you’re not only representing yourself, but you’re also representing your family and your community,” Capt. Shawn Darby said. “We also represent the soldiers who came before us. I know each of you are proud and honored to represent the Kentucky State Police and Cadet Class 101.”

Several class members received special recognition at the ceremony.

Rider Trevor Vandermolen received the ‘Ernie Bivens Award’. This honor is awarded to one cadet from each class who, in the opinion of KSP Academy and fellow cadets, demonstrates distinction as a leader, strives for academic excellence, and has excelled in all phases of the physical and professional training of the academy.

Additionally, the honor of Valedictorian was awarded to Trooper Trevor Vandermolen and the Salutatorian was awarded to Trooper Luke Edwards.

Upon graduation, new soldiers are given the opportunity to “pick three” positions located throughout the Commonwealth that they prefer to be assigned.

Cadet Class 101 graduates and their assigned positions are:

POST 1, MAYFIELD

Matthew Fleming, Benton, Ky.

Brayden Thomas, Cadiz, Ky.

Post 2, MADISONVILLE

Nathan Pedigo, Portland, Tennessee.

Station 3, BOWLING GREEN

Trevor Vandermolen, Rineyville, Ky.

Devon Banaszak, London, Ky.

Walker Hogan, Leitchfield, Ky.

Daniel DeLeon, Lufkin, Texas.

Tavian Thompson, Russell Springs, Kentucky.

Post 4, ELIZABETHTOWN

James Payne, Glasgow, Ky.

Travis Dalton, Brandenburg, Ky.

Post 5, CAMPBELLSBOURG

Joshua Rexroad, Bedford, Ky.

Amanda Begel, Prospect, Ky.

Colin Bryant, Mount Washington, Ky.

Alan Spencer, Mount Washington, Kentucky.

Post 6, DRY PARTY

Caleb Dicken, Ramsey, In.

Garryn Wood, Frankfurt, Kentucky.

Luke Edwards, Frankfurt, Ky.

Manuel Ruvalcaba, San Martin de Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico.

Post 7, RICHMOND

Jason Montgomery, Tyner, Ky.

Joshua Buckner, Berea, Ky.

Jacob Coffey, McKee, Ky.

Robert Baker, Manchester, Ky.

Tiana Simpson, Corbin, Ky.

Benjamin Holt, London, Ky.

Jon Best, Winchester, Kentucky.

Bobby Estes, Beattyville, Ky.

Message 8, MORE HEAD

Matthew Smith, East Point, Kentucky.

Post 9, PIKEVILLE

Joseph Slone, Pikeville, Ky.

Nicholas Taylor, Pikeville, Ky.

Terry Mounts, Pikeville, Ky.

Megan Thomas, Emmalena, Ky.

Brennan Eckart, Cecilia, Ky.

Zachary Burgess, Pikeville, Ky.

Logan Hillerman, Pikeville, Ky.

Timothy Smith, Canada, Ky.

Dylan Chapman, Red Fox, Ky.

Hunter Kidd, Grethel, Ky.

Michael McKinney, Harold, Ky.

Post 10, HARLAN

Jason Blanton, Pineville, Ky.

Cameron Cornett, Evarts, Ky.

Chelsea Brock, Corbin, Ky.

Matthew Abner, Pineville, Ky.

Colby Cochran, Harlan, Ky.

Joshua Jones, Corbin, Ky.

Keston Price, Harlan, Kentucky.

Post 11, LONDON

William Harrison, Somerset, Ky.

Post 12, FRANKFURT

Matthew Carter, McKee, Ky.

Jordan Thompson, Lawrenceburg, Ky.

Robert Stepp, Versailles, Ky.

William Watts, Versailles, Ky.

Adam Champlain, Georgetown, Ky.

Chad Hagan, Louisville, Kentucky.

Austin Watts, Lawrenceburg, Ky.

Extension 13, DANGER

Dustin Ballard, Hyden, Ky.

Arlie Stidham Jr., Hazard, Ky.

Ryan Couch, Bonnyman, Ky.

Zachary Neice, Hindman, Ky.

Post 14, ASHLAND

Dylan Alexander, Grayson, Ky.

William Galloway, Hindman, Ky.

Post 15, COLOMBIA

Stephen England, Campbellsville, Kentucky.

Trevor Sharp, Freedom, Ky.

Jacob Wilson, Dunnville, Ky.

Maverick Gadberry, Freedom, Ky.

David Sagrécy, Springfield, Ky.

Kendon Young, Campbellsville, Kentucky.

Hunter McQueary, Windsor, Kentucky.

Daniel Smith, Mount Vernon, Kentucky.

Lucas Justice, Russell Springs, Kentucky.

Post 16, HENDERSON

Lucas Atherton, Beaver Dam, Ky.

James Hendricks, Henderson, Ky.

Jared Lundy, Marion, Ky.

Twenty-five cadets earned their associate’s degree in general vocational and technical studies from Bluegrass Community and Technical College during their 24 weeks at the training academy. These cadets have benefited from new hiring guidelines established by the state legislature in 2017. With this revision, anyone who has a high school diploma or GED, and has three years of full-time work experience full can apply for a job as a KSP Trooper and earn an associate degree during the training process.

Class 101 cadet graduates who earned an associate degree are:

Matthew Abner, Pineville, Ky.

Dylan Alexander, Grayson, Ky.

Lucas Atherton, Beaver Dam, Ky.

Robert Baker, Manchester, Ky.

Dustin Ballard, Hyden, Ky.

Devon Banaszak, London, Ky.

Chelsea Brock, Corbin, Ky.

Colin Bryant, Mount Washington, Ky.

Joshua Buckner, Berea, Ky.

Colby Cochran, Harlan, Ky.

Jacob Coffey, McKee, Ky.

Cameron Cornett, Evarts, Ky.

William Galloway, Hindman, Ky.

Chad Hagan, Louisville, Kentucky.

Joshua Jones, Corbin, Ky.

Michael McKinney, Harold, Ky.

Jason Montgomery, Tyner, Ky.

James Payne, Glasgow, Ky.

Nathan Pedigo, Portland, Tennessee.

Daniel Smith, Mount Vernon, Kentucky.

Timothy Smith, Canada, Ky.

Brayden Thomas, Cadiz, Ky.

Jordan Thompson, Lawrenceburg, Ky.

Trevor Vandermolen, Rineyville, Ky.

William Watts, Versailles, Ky.

In November 2021, the Governor announced historic investments to improve public safety, retention and accountability in his recent budget proposal. His two-year budget plan includes millions of dollars to fund competitive salaries for KSP soldiers, officers, and telecoms, provide body cameras for sworn KSP soldiers, and increase the training allowance for peace officers. Learn more here and here.

In the previous state budget, the Governor allocated $500,000 to help increase KSP’s recruiting efforts by expanding the “Be The Difference” marketing initiative to reach individuals in Kentucky’s 120 counties. Digital advertisements were launched in unique locations, such as colleges and universities, outdoor billboards in rural communities, social media and streaming TV platforms. Additionally, KSP works with retired minority soldiers to further enhance their diversity recruiting efforts.

The KSP Recruiting Branch recently finished accepting applications for the next Class 102 Cadet, which is scheduled to begin in June 2022.

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