OHP Announces 59th Patrol Academy

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will open its doors Friday to kick off the 59th OHP training academy, and although it's a small group of cadets, they are highly enthusiastic and ready to go.

"This may be the smallest academy, but the staff has worked diligently to be prepared for its start date," said Colonel Van M. Guillotte, chief of the highway patrol. "The stringent OHP application process has brought us 33 outstanding cadets who will report for the rigorous trooper training scheduled for seventeen weeks."

Guillotte said the academy will focus on up-to-date fundamentals and discipline, and he is pleased with the direction the academy is taking. That includes updated methods and procedures, to which Guillotte refers to as "a more hands-on" involvement by highway patrol troop commanders.

Cadets also will enjoy two new state-of-the-art facilities at the DPS training center.

"Cadets will benefit from a workout facility with top-of-the-line exercise equipment and weights. Also, new classrooms and a cafeteria with a new vendor will provide healthy, nutritious meals," said Captain Todd Blish, OHP Training Division Commander.

During the academy, cadets will work toward completing the legally required 576 hours provided by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training in order to be within compliance of state law. But that's just part of the more than 1,100 hours that the highway patrol mandates for the cadets to successfully complete before they can graduate.

This group boasts a diverse group of hopefuls, including two men whose wives are Oklahoma City police officers, a chef, a helicopter pilot, a former minor league baseball pitcher, and two Department of Public Safety employees. Ten of the cadets have law enforcement backgrounds, and 16 have served in the military.

The four youngest cadets, two men and the only two women, are 21 years old, and the oldest two cadets are 39.

Cadets are required to reside on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the first portion of the academy.

"The academy staff will be increasing the amount of practical skills training specifically in the areas of report writing, firearms, defensive tactics and collision investigation", said Blish.

Members of the press are invited to attend the registration process, and should arrive at the DPS training center located at 3600 N. Marin Luther King Blvd by 8:45 a.m. on Friday, February 27th.