53rd Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy

It is a year of firsts for cadets of the 53rd Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy. The first Asian, the first black female and a member of the first family will report as cadets to the OHP academy which begins Friday, June 29.

"We are proud to have recruited 53 individuals who completed a rigorous, in-depth application process competing for this year's OHP academy," said Second Lieutenant Craig Medcalf, commandant of the academy. "And we can't help but show our enthusiasm by singling out three cadets who are literally breaking the mold."

Jimmy Dillenburg, Lateka Anderson and Anthony F. Keating have recently completed the academic portion of the Certified Law Enforcement and Education Training required to become troopers.

Keating, son of Governor and Mrs. Frank Keating, has expressed interest in becoming a trooper for several years. In the 1999 OHP academy graduation ceremony, Bob Ricks, commissioner of public safety, introduced Cathy Keating as keynote speaker. "She truly loves the men and women of the highway patrol so much that her son has expressed interest in becoming a member," said Ricks.

Keating will become Oklahoma's first governor's son to be a trooper cadet. He will join Dillenburg and Anderson, the first Asian and black female cadets for registration of the academy.

In 1976, a black female reported to the OHP academy but resigned only hours after registration. She decided instead to care for her ailing grandfather as his only surviving relative.

"Three females reported to that academy in 1976 but Lateka will be the only female cadet this year, making her the third to enter an academy with all males," said Medcalf.. "She has already displayed her willingness to survive and is determined to graduate with her fellow cadets in October."

All three have recently completed the academic portion of the required Certified Law Enforcement and Education Training.

"We are thrilled to welcome this year's cadets," said Colonel Gary Adams, chief of the highway patrol. "We feel confident that this group of trooper cadets will unite as a team of well-trained professionals like those that preceded them to become members of the highway patrol."

The application process takes several months. Last year 463 applicants were required to pass a physical examination, written exam and oral interview with an extensive background check.

They are required to report at 1 p.m. for registration at the Robert R. Lester Training Center, 3600 North ML King Blvd. in Oklahoma City.