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.”
In addition to Benjamin, other class officers include Robert Merrell, Vice President; Rebecca Crawford, Secretary; Devin Hunter, Chaplain; Justus Alicea, Sergeant-at-Arms; and David Nailor, Pennant Bearer.
Four graduates received special honors for top performance in various proficiencies. The honorees were:
- Driving Proficiency – Douglas Hughes
- Firearms Proficiency – Aaron Guillaume
- Top Gun – Jacob Stansell
- Highest Academic Average – Jacob Stansell
Trooper Stansell who had a 98.07 academic average, received the CPL Chadwick LeCroy scholarship to use toward obtaining a degree from Reinhardt University. CPL Chadwick LeCroy, a GSP Trooper, was killed in the line of duty on December 27, 2010.
Trooper Robert Merrell received the second annual Patrick Dupree Leadership Award which is presented to the cadet that showed leadership throughout the entire class, even though he/she was not the class president. Trooper Cadet Dupree passed away Thursday, September 8, 2022, after performing a training exercise along with other members of the 113th Trooper School at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.
Each commissioned Trooper will report to the following assigned post:
|Trooper’s Name||Hometown||Assigned Post|
|Justus Alicea||Richmond County, GA||Post 25-Grovetown|
|Rachel Anderson||Houston County, GA||Post 15-Perry|
|Derrickal Bell||Mitchell County, GA||Post 48-Atlanta|
|Andy Benjamin Jr.||Evans County, GA||Post 16-Hazelhurst|
|James Byrne||Harris County, GA||Post 2-LaGrange|
|Jimmy Cenescar||Orange County, FL.||Post 9-Marietta|
|Levi Champion||Pickens County, GA||Post 3-Cartersville|
|Calvin Cobb||Tattnall County, GA||Post 18-Reidsville|
|Rebecca Crawford||Gwinnett County, GA||Post 6-Gainesville|
|Tyrique Fuller||Lee County, AL||Post 24-Newnan|
|Aaron Guillaume||Muscogee County, GA||Post -LaGrange|
|Karson Gunkle||Collier County, FL||Post 9-Marietta|
|Johnathan Hammond||Conecuh County, AL||Post 21-Sylvania|
|Russell Holman IV||Forsyth County, GA||Post 37-Cumming|
|Andrae’ Holmes||Bibb County, GA||Post 44-Forsyth|
|Douglas Hughes Jr.||Forsyth County, GA||Post 32-Athens|
|Devin Hunter||Stevens County, GA||Post 07-Toccoa|
|Greer Huss||Orange County, FL.||Post 27-Blue Ridge|
|Jonathon King||Catoosa County, GA||Post 5-Dalton|
|Alfred McCoy||Bibb County, GA||Post 15-Perry|
|Levi McMurtry||Columbia County, GA||Post 25-Grovetown|
|Robert Merrell Jr.||Dooly County, GA||Post 44-Forsyth|
|Gunner Metcalf||Buncombe County, NC||Post 23-Brunswick|
|David Nailor||Shasta County, CA||Pos 31-Valdosta|
|Ignacio Orozco||Okeechobee, FL||Post 43-Calhoun|
|James O’Shields||Gordon County, GA||Post 05-Dalton|
|Timothy Robinson||Rockdale County, GA||Post 46-Monroe|
|Seth Romine||Pickens County, GA||Post 05-Dalton|
|Reggie Shepherd||Cook County, IL||Post 48-Atlanta|
|Tyreke Sims||Brooks County, GA||Post 10-Americus|
|William Smith IV||Lamar County, GA||Post 52-Hartwell|
|Jacob Stansell||Bulloch County, GA||Post 45-Statesboro|
|Donald Terry||Worth County, GA||Post 40-Albany|
|Gregory Terry||Gwinnett County, GA||Post 51-Gwinnett|
|James Trivigno Jr.||Wayne County, NY||Post 24-Newnan|
|Jerry Verrill Jr.||Suffolk County, MA||Post 21-Sylvania|
|Walter Wyatt Jr.||Lamar County, GA||Post 1-Griffin|