Tomorrow is a big day for the Washington State Patrol— 40 cadets will graduate in a one-of-a-kind ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda. Two times a year, hundreds of people fill up all three levels of the capitol building to watch new troopers be sworn in by a State Supreme Court Justice and be handed their commission cards by Governor Jay Inslee and WSP Chief John R. Batiste.

Today marked the first day of celebrations for these cadets/soon-to-be-troopers. Starting with an open house as well as a traditional badge pinning and awards ceremony. Several of the graduates received awards for their achievement in driving, firearms, fitness, tactics, academics, and more! The award recipients are:

Trop Driving Award: Trooper Casey Klein

Top Firearms Award:Trooper Stephen F. O’Brien

Top Physical Fitness/Top Control Tactics Award: Trooper Andrew T. Wilson

Top Academic Award: Trooper Riley D. Wyatt

Top Collision Investigation Award: Trooper Josiah K. Hanks

Top Overall Cadet Award: Trooper Kyle J. Dussault

Additionally, a Core Values Award is given to the trooper cadet who most typifies the Training Division Core Values which include: strong leadership, effective partnerships, professional excellence, acting with integrity and accountability, respecting and protecting individual rights, and earning the trust and confidence of the public. However, this is given at the graduation (so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out).

The WSP is proud to welcome all 40 new troopers to its ranks. Ahead of tomorrow’s, three cadets shared their stories of why they came to the Washington State Patrol. One became a cadet at 52-years-old, another was inspired by their sister’s fierce and successful fight over cancer, and another is setting an example for their brother. Take a look below:

For some, working in law enforcement is a family affair. 17 of these new cadets have family members who are part of the state patrol or other law enforcement agencies. For example, Trooper Alex Baker is a third generation state trooper (his two grandfathers and father served with the WSP – Not to mention his uncle is currently a trooper).

Baker Family_preview

Each story in unique, and each is as equally as important as the other. Only 4-6% of applicants make it all the way through to graduation. We’re extremely proud of these new troopers, where they have been, and how they will make the agency and our state better.

Tomorrow’s official graduation ceremony will take place at the Legislative Building Rotunda, starting at 2 p.m. We understand that not everyone can make the trip to Olympia for the graduation. We’ll be living-streaming on Facebook and Twitter starting at 2:00 P.M. PST, so please tune in and share any messages online using the hashtag #WSPGrad109.