Released by the Texas Department of Public Safety:
Ninety-one recruits graduated from the DPS Training Academy this morning. The recruit class was the first to graduate during the department's 75th anniversary year.
"My Texas House colleagues and I congratulate the new troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety. You join an impressive and well-respected team, and we are grateful to every officer who sacrifices and serves the citizens of Texas," said Speaker of the House Joe Straus III.
The troopers began the 28-week training academy in September. 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.
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. Forty-nine of the graduates have honorably served in the U.S. military and four have prior law enforcement experience. More than 50 percent of the graduates have college degrees.
Public Safety Commission Chairman Allan B. Polunsky congratulated the graduates. "I thank each of you for choosing to serve the State of Texas as a Highway Patrol trooper. Be safe, be vigilant and full of pride during your service with this distinguished Department," he said.
Steven C. McCraw, director of the DPS, told the graduates that he expects them to protect and serve Texas with the utmost integrity and professionalism.