Agency's largest graduating class since 2014 is ready to serve and protect
FRANKFORT, KY (March 25, 2022) — Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky State Police (KSP) announced that 71 cadets have graduated the agency’s basic training academy and are now ready to report for duty across the commonwealth with a focus on creating a better and safer Kentucky. Cadet Class 101 is the largest KSP basic training academy graduating class since 2014.
PHOTO: Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Sara W. Combs administers Oath of Office to Cadet Class 101
“Congratulations cadets. Great job on finishing an intense 24-weeks of training and becoming a state trooper,” Gov. 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 Oct. 3, 2021 to embark upon 24-weeks of intense training to learn the job skills necessary to perform the duties of a state trooper to one day wear the badge of honor as they protect and serve all who live and visit Kentucky’s 120 counties. Graduating cadets pledged to uphold the mission of KSP by promoting public safety through service, integrity and professionalism using partnerships to prevent, reduce and deter crime and the fear of crime, enhance highway safety through education and enforcement, safeguard property and protect individual rights.
“Tomorrow is symbolic in many ways. You will start your first day as a Kentucky State Trooper. Each of you will take this independent journey with humility, passion and a thirst to be better each day,” said KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. “Your success rests upon your shoulders and what you have learned while at the academy.”
The KSP Training Academy provides cadets with best practices, the latest technology training and legal information to help make the commonwealth’s streets safer, communities stronger and the nation more secure through exceptional law enforcement. The graduates of Cadet Class 101 received more than 1,000 hours of classroom and field study in subjects such as 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, crash investigation, drug identification, traffic control, crowd control, armed robbery response, land navigation, electronic crimes, sex crimes, hate crimes, domestic violence, bomb threats and hazardous materials.
During today’s graduation ceremony, KSP Academy Commander Shawn Darby took a moment to address the cadet class.
“When you join the Kentucky State Police, you not only represent yourself, but you also represent your family and community,” said Capt. Shawn Darby. “We also represent those troopers who have come before us. I know each of you are proud and humbled to represent the Kentucky State Police and Cadet Class 101.”
Several members of the graduating class received special recognition during the ceremony.
Trooper Trevor Vandermolen received the ‘Ernie Bivens Award’. This honor is presented to a cadet in each class who, in the opinion of the KSP Academy and fellow cadets, shows distinction as a leader, strives for academic excellence and has excelled in all phases of the academy’s physical and vocational training.
Additionally, the honor of Valedictorian was awarded to Trooper Trevor Vandermolen and the Salutatorian was awarded to Trooper Luke Edwards.
Upon graduation, new troopers have the opportunity to “Pick Three” posts located throughout the commonwealth that they prefer to be assigned.
Cadet Class 101 graduates and their assigned posts are:
POST 1, MAYFIELDMatthew Fleming, Benton, Ky. Brayden Thomas, Cadiz, Ky.
Post 2, MADISONVILLENathan Pedigo, Portland, Tn.
Post 3, BOWLING GREENTrevor Vandermolen, Rineyville, Ky. Devon Banaszak, London, Ky. Walker Hogan, Leitchfield, Ky. Daniel DeLeon, Lufkin, Tx. Tavian Thompson, Russell Springs, Ky.
Post 4, ELIZABETHTOWNJames Payne, Glasgow, Ky. Travis Dalton, Brandenburg, Ky.
Post 5, CAMPBELLSBURGJoshua Rexroat, Bedford, Ky. Amanda Begel, Prospect, Ky. Colin Bryant, Mt. Washington, Ky. Alan Spencer, Mount Washington, Ky.
Post 6, DRY RIDGECaleb Dicken, Ramsey, In. Garryn Wood, Frankfort, Ky. Luke Edwards, Frankfort, Ky. Manuel Ruvalcaba, San Martin de Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico.
Post 7, RICHMONDJason 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, Ky. Bobby Estes, Beattyville, Ky.
Post 8, MOREHEADMatthew Smith, East Point, Ky.
Post 9, PIKEVILLEJoseph 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, HARLANJason 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, Ky.
Post 11, LONDONWilliam Harrison, Somerset, Ky.
Post 12, FRANKFORTMatthew Carter, McKee, Ky. Jordan Thompson, Lawrenceburg, Ky. Robert Stepp, Versailles, Ky. William Watts, Versailles, Ky. Adam Champlain, Georgetown, Ky. Chad Hagan, Louisville, Ky. Austin Watts, Lawrenceburg, Ky.
Post 13, HAZARDDustin Ballard, Hyden, Ky. Arlie Stidham Jr., Hazard, Ky. Ryan Couch, Bonnyman, Ky. Zachary Neice, Hindman, Ky.
Post 14, ASHLANDDylan Alexander, Grayson, Ky. William Galloway, Hindman, Ky.
Post 15, COLUMBIAStephen England, Campbellsville, Ky. Trevor Sharp, Liberty, Ky. Jacob Wilson, Dunnville, Ky. Maverick Gadberry, Liberty, Ky. David Sagrecy, Springfield, Ky. Kendon Young, Campbellsville, Ky. Hunter McQueary, Windsor, Ky. Daniel Smith, Mt. Vernon, Ky. Lucas Justice, Russell Springs, Ky.
Post 16, HENDERSONLucas Atherton, Beaver Dam, Ky. James Hendricks, Henderson, Ky. Jared Lundy, Marion, Ky.
Twenty-five cadets earned their associate degree in General Occupational and Technical Studies from the Bluegrass Community and Technical College during their 24-weeks at the training academy. These cadets benefited from the new hiring guidelines established by the state legislature in 2017. Through this revision, anyone who possesses a high school diploma or GED, and has three years of full-time work experience can apply for employment as a KSP Trooper and earn an associate’s degree during the training process.
Cadet Class 101 graduates who earned an associate’s 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, Mt. 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, Ky. Joshua Jones, Corbin, Ky. Michael McKinney, Harold, Ky. Jason Montgomery, Tyner, Ky. James Payne, Glasgow, Ky. Nathan Pedigo, Portland, Tn. Daniel Smith, Mt. Vernon, Ky. Timothy Smith, Canada, Ky. Brayden Thomas, Cadiz, Ky. Jordan Thompson, Lawrenceburg, Ky. Trevor Vandermolen, Rineyville, Ky. William Watts, Versailles, Ky.
Cadet Class 101 at the Kentucky State Capitol
In Nov. 2021, the Governor announced historic investments to improve public safety, retention, and accountability in his recent budget proposal. His two-year budget plan provides millions of dollars to fund competitive salaries for KSP troopers, officers, and telecommunicators, supply body cameras for KSP sworn troopers, and increase the peace officer training stipend.
In the previous state budget, the Governor allocated $500,000 to help increase KSP’s recruitment efforts by developing the ‘Be The Difference’ marketing initiative to reach individuals from Kentucky’s 120 counties. Digital ads were launched in unique venues, such as colleges and universities, outdoor billboards in rural communities, social media and streaming television platforms. Additionally, KSP is working with retired minority troopers to further improve their diversity recruitment efforts.
KSP’s recruitment branch recently finished accepting applications for the upcoming cadet class 102, which is slated to begin June 2022.
For more information about career opportunities with KSP visit the website.