The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) graduated its 114th Trooper School Friday, September 8, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth. After 32 weeks of intense training, 37 new Troopers will report to one of 52 patrol posts around the state.
Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp delivered the graduation address and gave the Oath of Office. Additional remarks were provided by Lt. Colonel Billy Hitchens, Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS), and Captain Craig Singletary, Director of Training.
Trooper Cadets spend 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks training in the field. The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires all peace officers to receive a minimum of 408 hours of Basic Mandate Training. After completing Trooper School, the graduates have received more than 1,400 hours of training including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other trainings.
During remarks to his fellow class members Trooper Andy Benjamin, class president, reflected on the group’s journey through Trooper School.
“The journey has not been easy, but it has been worthwhile. We sacrificed a lot by leaving our homes, families, and friends to join the elite ranks of the Georgia State Patrol,” said Benjamin. “Today we are proud, and we celebrate, but our journey is not over, it is truly just beginning as we are no longer Trooper Cadets, but new GSP Troopers.”