SHELTON, WA – Forty-four men and women were sworn in Wednesday as Washington State Patrol Troopers as part of the 115th Basic Trooper Training Class (TBTC).
From Thailand to Russia to Federal Way in Washington, nearly 50% of the 115th TBTC is made up of underrepresented communities, according to the WSP.
As a collective, the 115th TBTC contacted over 8,000 motorists and removed nearly 700 DUI drivers from the roads. They also investigated more than 650 collisions and helped nearly 2,000 stranded motorists in need of assistance.
After undergoing more than 1,400 hours of rigorous training, the soldiers received their commission cards Wednesday from Chief John R. Batiste who welcomed them and their families to WSP. Judge G. Helen Whitener swore them.
During the official graduation ceremony, Governor Jay Inslee and Chief Batiste reminded the class that they are entering a noble profession that will require them to always perform at their best and serve with the humility that makes a good law enforcement officer.
“Our agency has received the highest level of law enforcement accreditation in the world,” said Chief Batiste. “We are counting on you to live up to this honor and uphold these standards in everything you do and say. But it will always be your honesty, character, courage, compassion and professionalism that will make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.
During the ceremony, several cadets received awards in recognition of their dedication to specific skills, including collision investigation and physical fitness. Additionally, the Washington State Patrol Memorial Foundation sponsors the Core Values Award, which is given in honor of the newest WSP commissioned officer to lay down his or her life in service to the citizens of Washington State.
On Wednesday, the Core Values Award was presented in honor of Detective Eric T. Gunderson. Gunderson died in the line of duty on September 26, 2021.
Academy Captain Robert W. Sharpe also presented a number of other outstanding soldiers with awards. These awards included:
Best Academic Award
Presented to Cavalier Maxwell A. Puff; this award recognizes the exceptional efforts of the cadet who achieves the highest cumulative grade point average on more than 30 exams and quizzes.
Best Driving Award
Presented to Trooper Jared M. Gearhart; this award recognizes the highest level of proficiency in driving skills and techniques, decision-making and mindset, as well as steady and consistent improvement in every phase of driver education.
Best Guns Awards
Presented to Trooper Regan J. Klepac; this award recognizes the highest level of proficiency with all weapon systems, marksmanship and marksmanship skills, and the demonstration of good judgment in practical encounter scenarios.
Best Physical Condition Award
Presented to Cavalier Javier Nunez III; this award recognizes the highest level of drive and tenacity in fitness testing and training. The recipient of this award has always performed at the top of the TBTC during physical training.
Best Control Tactics Award
Presented to Cavalier Juan Martinez Jr.; this award recognizes the highest level of proficiency in the techniques of control tactics, including self-defense, handcuffing, seeking and using the use of force thought process.
Best Collision Investigation Award
Presented to Cavalier Adam J. Harlan; this award recognizes the highest level of collision investigation skill, including mathematical computation, scene investigation, information and evidence gathering, report writing and teamwork .
Best Communication Award
Presented to Cavalier Maxwell A. Puff; this award recognizes the highest level of efficiency in knowledge of radiocommunications, based on tests and practical exercises.
Overall Top Cadet Award
Presented to Cavalier Noah D. Baker; this award recognizes the Cadet Rider who has demonstrated great courage in overcoming obstacles, an unwavering dedication to staying focused in achieving their goals, and their ability to give their 100% in all aspects of its formation. Rider Baker demonstrated the skills, abilities, and judgment necessary to be an excellent rider, and he went the extra mile to make continuous improvements.