Tennessee Highway Patrol Graduates 28 State Troopers

Friday, September 22, 2023 | 03:44pm

On September 22, Governor Bill Lee, 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 at the Hermitage Hills Baptist Church in Nashville.

“Law enforcement is more than a career - it’s a calling. The Tennessee Highway Patrol plays an important role in protecting Tennesseans, and I commend you for answering this important call to protect and serve our state,” said Governor Lee. “Tennessee stands with law enforcement, and we’ll continue to make strong investments to put additional officers on Tennessee roads, support our officers with high-quality training, and provide the resources needed to protect Tennessee communities.”

The THP simultaneously instructed regular Trooper Cadet Class 923 and lateral Trooper Cadet Class 823. The regular cadet class graduated 13 troopers who completed 17 weeks of rigorous training to prepare them for their new law enforcement career. The lateral cadet class graduated 15 troopers who completed 11 weeks of specialized training, which was designed to build upon their previous law enforcement training and experience. Each member of lateral Class 823 is a prior Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified law enforcement officer.

“You were given the opportunity to join one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the country and through the hard work and perseverance you’ve shown during the months of difficult physical and academic training you’ve earned the right to be a Tennessee State Trooper,” said Commissioner Jeff Long. “You now have the privilege and the responsibility to serve the people of our great state. Congratulations on this tremendous accomplishment.”

Trooper Cadet Class 923 included five cadets with prior military service and three cadets with bachelor’s degrees. Lateral Trooper Cadet Class 823 graduated 14 POST-certified law enforcement officers from Tennessee and one from the State of Virginia. Class 823 included three cadets with bachelor’s degrees, three cadets with associate degrees, and seven cadets with prior military service. 

“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. The THP is in the business of providing a service. Every time you put on the uniform, take a moment to remember that service is at the heart of being a Tennessee State Trooper. You no longer serve only yourself; you serve the citizens and visitors of the state of Tennessee. Be the optimists who find the opportunities in every challenge, and let your positivity inspire others to do the same. Together, we can build safer, stronger, and more compassionate communities.”

Trooper Bobby Rogers was named the top trooper cadet and was presented the Trooper Calvin Jenks Memorial Award for Excellence for achieving the overall highest average. The award honors the late Trooper Calvin Jenks, who was killed in the line of duty in January 2007.