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Tennessee Highway Patrol Graduates 38 State Troopers

On Dec. 7, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Colonel Matt Perry welcomed the newest graduating classes of Tennessee State Troopers. The department simultaneously instructed a regular 17-week trooper cadet class and an 11-week lateral trooper cadet class. The lateral class returned from their district assignments for the graduation ceremony that took place at Belmont University, 15th Avenue South, Nashville.

The 13 graduates of Trooper Cadet Class 1223 included eight cadets with prior military service, five cadets with bachelor’s degrees, and one cadet with a master’s degree. Cadet Class 1223 additionally hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross and Blood Assurance. 

Lateral Trooper Cadet Class 1123 graduated 25 cadets composed of all prior Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) certified law enforcement officers from across Tennessee. Class 1123 included six cadets with associate degrees, two cadets with a bachelor’s degree, one cadet with a master’s degree, and eight cadets with prior military service. The lateral class brings a combined 161 years of prior law enforcement experience to the THP.

Commissioner Jeff Long served as the keynote speaker during the graduation ceremony and swore in the new troopers as they delivered their oaths of office.

“The Tennessee Highway Patrol is not only one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the state, but in the entire country,” said Commissioner Long. “As such we recruit the best of the best. During the past few months of rigorous physical and academic training through your hard work and perseverance, you’ve earned the right to be a Tennessee State Trooper. Congratulations and thank you for serving the people of our great state.”

“Joining any law enforcement agency makes you a part of something far bigger than yourself,” said Colonel Perry. “Today, you represent the Tennessee Highway Patrol while in uniform and out. You will be held to a higher standard – not only by the public but also by your peers and your leaders.” He spoke to the importance of their individual actions, stating, “You are not just part of a larger agency; you are a unique force capable of influencing positive change. During this holiday season, it is especially important to remind ourselves that service is at the heart of everything we do as Tennessee State Troopers.”

Trooper Kelsey Gray of class 1223 was named the top cadet for her class and was presented with the Trooper Calvin Jenks Memorial Award for Excellence for his leadership, work ethic, and academics. The award was named in honor of the late Trooper Calvin Jenks, who was killed in the line of duty in January 2007.