56th Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy Graduation

The Chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Colonel Jerry Cason, announces the graduation of the 56th Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy on September 22, 2006. "This exceptional group of 37 men have separated themselves from approximately 900 applicants who originally began the hiring process," said Cason. "They will soon join the 2,286 men and women who have become OHP troopers since 1937."

The cadets come from a variety of professional backgrounds, including a firefighter, a teacher, an aircraft mechanic, and law enforcement officers.

Tradition runs deep on the Highway Patrol. In this academy, 11 cadets are following in the footsteps of other family members who are currently Troopers.

These cadets have completed 16 weeks of rigorous training based on a military style environment and are required to stay on campus. Cadets train under extreme discipline and stressful conditions to prepare themselves for the role of being a State Trooper.

"Some troopers work alone, covering multiple counties with their nearest backup sometimes a county away," said Captain Gary Vinson, Commandant of the academy. " This is why our training and standards are so high. These troopers will need to be able to work under stressful conditions including felony traffic stops, multi-car and fatality collisions, and do so safely."

"While these cadets have achieved the minimum standards, they are beginning the most important training of their career during the field training process," said Vinson. "They have accepted the responsibility to continue the tradition of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and have proven their dedication to ensure the safety of Oklahomans."