57th OHP Academy Graduation
The newest members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be sworn in and commissioned during graduation for the 57th Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy. Forty-nine cadets will join the 2,323 men and women who have become OHP troopers since 1937.
Graduation exercises will be held at 1:00 p.m., Friday, July 20, at True Vine Baptist Church, 3600 North Spencer Road. Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins will be their keynote speaker.
Approximately 800 applicants began the hiring process a year ago, 48 men and 1 woman will graduate. At age 22, Cadet Ashley Dunn is one of the youngest to apply, and is also the first female to complete the training since the 54th Academy in 2002. "This academy has given me the tools to be a successful state trooper and to serve the citizens of Oklahoma," said Dunn.
The cadets come from a wide variety of backgrounds and include 2 former Wal-Mart employees, 3 with military training, 16 with prior law enforcement experience, a pawnbroker, and even a farrier. Four are following in their fathers' footsteps by becoming state troopers.
"During the rigorous 16 weeks of training, these cadets acquired the basic skills to become state troopers. Now they will begin the field training process, which will complete their training for becoming a state trooper," said Captain Gary Vinson, OHP Training Division Commander. "Graduates will report for their first assignments, Monday, July 30."
Three cadets became fathers during this academy, and 4 more babies are on the way. Five cadets applied for marriage licenses on Wednesday, July 18, at the Oklahoma County Court House and plan to tie the knot Saturday, July 21.
As Oklahoma celebrates it's centennial, the OHP celebrates 70 years of tradition and dedicated service to the citizens who travel our great state.