51st OHP Academy Graduation

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol 51st Academy cadets will graduate Tuesday, August 3 at the Memorial Road Church of Christ, 2221 East Memorial Road in Oklahoma City at 1 p.m. The keynote speaker will be First Lady Cathy Keating.

The 62 cadets have completed 18 weeks of training at the Robert R. Lester Training Center in Oklahoma City.

"These cadets have just concluded not only one of the toughest application processes in the state but definitely one of the most rigorous and demanding law enforcement training programs," said Second Lieutenant Chris West.

The cadets reported for academy registration on March 30.

"They were required to stay in-residence which makes the OHP academy different from any other law enforcement training program in the state," said West. "As residents, a tremendous amount of camaraderie and unity is instilled in the cadets."

West said the academy is tailored to prepare cadets for the unique job of being a trooper.

"The discipline and stress orientation in the academy prepares them for life on the road," said West. "A trooper might cover a large area alone with backup that could be as far away as the next county. These cadets need to learn what it's like to work a multi-car crash with fatalities, or to stop a car driven by a felon, on their own."

Each morning the cadets began their day with organized physical training followed by inspections, and then specialized training in several areas including traffic and criminal law, self-defense, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, traffic contact, first responder, breathalyzer and officer relations.

The 51st OHP Academy is the first group of cadets to meet new eligibility requirements.

"We lowered the minimum age from 23 to 21, and increased the college hour requirement to an associate's degree or 62 accredited hours," said West. "The residency requirement was changed to U.S. citizenship."

West said applications are now being taken for the 52nd OHP Academy to begin in the summer of 2000. If you are interested in applying, call the Department of Public Safety Personnel division at 405-425-2163 or send e-mail to OHPJOBS for more information. The deadline for application is October 15.