Released by Jennifer Foster with the Office of State Representative Tommy Merritt:
The Texas Department of Public Safety graduated 69 troopers Friday from the DPS Training Academy.
"I congratulate the 138th class of graduates. Every day state troopers are protecting our citizens utilizing the valuable skills you gained in the training academy. You are joining the finest state law enforcement agency in our nation," said keynote speaker State Rep. Tommy Merritt, R-Longview.
The troopers began the 28-week training academy in March. Instruction covered more than 100 subjects, including counter-terrorism, traffic and criminal law, arrest and control procedures, accident reconstruction, first aid and Spanish. They also received extensive use of force, communication skills, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, cultural diversity and physical fitness training.
Steven C. McCraw, director of the DPS, told the graduates that he has high expectations for their performance.
"You are joining an elite group today, and I expect you to conduct yourself with the utmost integrity. Welcome to the best law enforcement agency in the United States."
In about three weeks, the troopers will move to their new duty stations. They will spend the first six months in on-the-job training with a senior trooper.
Public Safety Commission Chairman Allan B. Polunsky congratulated the graduates. "Thank each and everyone one of you for your commitment to serve in law enforcement. Be safe, be vigilant and full of pride during your service with this distinguished Department," he said.
Twenty-eight of the graduates have previous military experience. Anyone interested in becoming a state trooper can call the toll-free line, 1-866-TXTROOP (898-7667), or visit the DPS Web site,