PIERRE, SD (KELO AM) – After more than eight months of training, eight recruits officially joined the ranks of the South Dakota Highway Patrol during a graduation ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on Friday.
The eight new troopers, formally members of Class 54, completed basic law enforcement training, followed by the South Dakota Highway Patrol Recruit Academy. From early February until graduation day, they were in field training. The period from initial application to graduation is about one year.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard joined family and friends of the new troopers for the ceremony. He reminded them that South Dakota citizens appreciate their efforts and sacrifices.
“Without the enforcement of law, our form of government and our society would collapse,’’ Gov. Daugaard said. “It is because of you, our law enforcement, that we are able to live in a free and independent society where order and peace prevail.’’
Col. Craig Price, Superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol gave the troopers career advice during the ceremony. He said, “The responsibilities you assume as you take the badge of the South Dakota Highway Patrol are serious ones.” He told them, “Have a positive attitude, take care of your families, respect other people, be good partners in the South Dakota law enforcement community and exercise your duties with humility.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the recruits officially became members of the Highway Patrol and left for their initial duty stations. Several of the new troopers were scheduled to be on duty as early as Sunday, April 13.
The troopers and their duty stations are: Trey Bedford, Belle Fourche; Michael Boyd, Beresford; Chance Davis, Wall; Andrew Miller, Wessington Springs; John Peary, Pierre; Codie Schmeichel, Chamberlain; Andrew Thomas, Belle Fourche; Garrett Wellman, Watertown.