AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven
McCraw, Texas Public Safety Commission Chair Cynthia Leon, and members
of the Public Safety Commission (PSC) today were joined by Texas Sen.
Donna Campbell and Texas State Rep. Mark Keough as the department
commissioned 116 men and women as the state's newest Highway Patrol
Troopers during the recruit graduation ceremony.


AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven
McCraw, Texas Public Safety Commission Chair Cynthia Leon, and members
of the Public Safety Commission (PSC) today were joined by Texas Sen.
Donna Campbell and Texas State Rep. Mark Keough as the department
commissioned 116 men and women as the state’s newest Highway Patrol
Troopers during the recruit graduation ceremony. Sen. Campbell was the
keynote speaker during the ceremony, which was held today in Austin.

“The people of Texas will forever be grateful to the courageous men
and women – past and present – who pledge their lives to protecting
and serving others no matter the cost, and today, 116 new Texas
Highway Patrol Troopers join that esteemed legion,” said Sen.
Campbell. “Thank you for answering this honorable call of duty – your
grit and enthusiasm are an inspiration, and I know you will make us
all proud.”

The C-2016 class – which includes 14 former peace officers, 47
military veterans and a set of twin brothers – will report to duty
stations across Texas in the coming weeks and spend the first six
months in on-the-job training.

“I want to thank and congratulate all of our graduates here today.
Your perseverance through the many months of demanding training has
certainly paid off – you’ve earned the right and privilege to be
called a Texas State Trooper,” said Chair Leon. “We appreciate your
willingness to serve and are pleased to officially welcome you to the
DPS family.”

The troopers began the 23-week training academy in July. Instruction
covered more than 100 subjects, including counterterrorism, traffic
and criminal law, arrest and control procedures, accident
reconstruction, first aid and Spanish. They also received training in
use of force, communication skills, firearms, driving, criminal
interdiction, cultural diversity and physical fitness.

“Not everyone has the mettle necessary to pursue a career in law
enforcement, which requires an unwavering devotion to duty and
countless sacrifices not only from the officer but also from their
loved ones,” said Director McCraw. “DPS and the entire state are
thankful for these 116 graduates who have risen to the challenge to
become Highway Patrol Troopers sworn to serve their communities and
protect Texas from a full spectrum of threats.”

In 2015, the Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott authorized 250
additional Trooper positions to be permanently stationed in the border
area (DPS Regions 3 and 4) by August 2017, as well as additional DPS
recruit schools to help fill that need and address vacancies across
the state. A total of 47 troopers from Class C-2016 will be stationed
in Regions 3 and 4 as part of this initiative, bringing the total
number of positions to the authorized 250.

“I am pleased to say that today’s graduation marks the completion of
filling those 250 new positions directed by state leaders – more than
eight months ahead of schedule,” said Director McCraw. “Additionally,
the department is proud of the impact our men and women have made
during the past two years of around-the-clock security operations
combating threats posed by a porous Texas-Mexico border.”

As part of the recruits’ community service project, the class raised
funds for several causes, including $6,632 for DPS Trooper Chad
Blackburn, who was severely injured this year when his patrol car was
struck by a drunk driver; $750 worth of gifts for the Toys for Tots
program; and $200 in school supplies for an elementary school.

DPS is currently accepting applications for recruit classes scheduled
for 2017. The next application deadline is Jan. 18 for the class
beginning July 9, 2017. To apply or for more information about joining
the Texas Department of Public Safety, visit www.joindps.com.

In addition, DPS schedules recruiting events throughout the year. To
find an event in your region, visit
http://dps.texas.gov/trainingacademy/recruiting/recruitingEvents.htm#.