Butler, Gibson among 39 new Troopers to Highway Patrol
The Tennessee Department of Safety is proud to announce the addition of 39 Troopers to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Graduation ceremonies were held this morning for Trooper Cadet Class 1208 at Two Rivers Baptist Church, located at 2800 McGavock Pike in Nashville.
Pickett Countians William Eddie Gibson will be assigned to Smith County and Darren Butler will be assigned to Cannon County.
Members of Cadet Class 1208 have spent the past 19 weeks undergoing extensive law enforcement training at the Tennessee Department of Safety Training Center. The more than 892 hours of classroom training included criminal and constitutional law, patrol procedures, professional ethical conduct and firearms. The new graduates will now advance to a minimum of 13 weeks of field training. The class motto was: “We Came as Many, We Left as One.”
During training, the Cadets took time to participate in two blood drives for the American Red Cross and assisted the Salvation Army with its annual Angel Tree program. The Cadets are also sponsoring 100 meals at the Nashville Rescue Mission during the Holiday Season.
“I am very proud of these men and woman and the commitment they have made to serve their communities,” said Commissioner Dave Mitchell, who also gave the keynote address. “These new Troopers are dedicated; they exemplify the best and have earned the right to wear the uniform of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.”
Twenty of the 39 Cadets have previous law enforcement experience, and 14 were members of the military. This is the second class to attend the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama. CDP serves as a training facility that prepares state and local emergency responders to deal with chemical, biological and nuclear terrorist acts and handle incidents dealing with hazardous materials.
“Each one of these Troopers represents what the Tennessee Highway Patrol stands for: professionalism, integrity and pride,” stated Colonel Mike Walker. “In my mind, there is no job more important than what they do - and that is keeping Tennessee families safe.”
During the ceremony, Trooper John D. Lunceford was presented with the Calvin Jenks Memorial Award for Excellence, after being named the top Cadet in the class. The award was renamed last year in honor of the late Trooper Jenks, who was killed in the line of duty in January, 2007.
Trooper Lunceford was selected as top Cadet by THP instructors for his leadership, work ethic and academics. He is assigned to Sullivan County, which is in the Fall Branch District.
Friday’s exercise included a processional of graduates, THP Honor Guard and the Oath of Office by Commissioner Mitchell.
The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is (www.tennessee.gov/safety) to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.