FRANKFORT, KY - A group of 60 men and women began a life-changing journey in Frankfort today. They took their first step toward a goal they all share: becoming Kentucky State Troopers.
Each one has already passed a written examination, an oral board interview, a polygraph test, a background investigation and a medical and psychological review to get this far. Now they face another obstacle: 22-weeks of training at the Kentucky State Police Academy.
“These men and women will face many mental, physical and emotional challenges during their training,” explains Capt. Tim Lucas, commander of the academy. “Some will complete the course, others won’t. But whatever the outcome, they’ll learn things about themselves that can have a great impact on the rest of their lives.”
A 20-year KSP veteran, Lucas has served as a trooper, detective, academy sergeant and instructor and five years as assistant commander and commander of the Driver Testing Branch. Like every current trooper, he has experienced the KSP Academy firsthand.
“The KSP Academy requires cadets to prove themselves daily. They must repeatedly demonstrate the ability to perform under stressful conditions and successfully overcome adversity,” he says. “They must earn the privilege of wearing the gray uniform and distinctive hat of the Kentucky State Police.”
Demographically, 56 of the cadets entering the academy today are male and four are female. One is African-American, one is Hispanic and one is of native American descent.
Geographically, they represent 44 communities throughout Kentucky. Four are from Louisville with two each from Bardstown, Berea, Liberty, Murray, Oak Grove and Pikeville. Other Kentucky communities represented include Alexandria, Banner, Bethelridge, Brownsville, Burlington, Campbellsville, Columbia, Corbin, Feds Creek, Franklin, Glasgow, Greensburg, Harold, Hopkinsville, Lewisburg, Lexington, Lily, London, Madisonville, Maysville, Morehead, Mt. Vernon, Nancy, Nicholasville, Owensbro, Petersburg, Pine Top, Phyllis, Richmond, Rockfield, Scottsville, Shelbyville, Shepherdsville, Springfield, Union, Verona, Wildie and Williamsburg. Nine cadets are from out of state.
During their weeks at the academy, says Lucas, cadets must absorb more than 300 hours of classroom and field study. The subjects include constitutional law, juvenile and traffic law, use of force, weapons training, defensive tactics, first aid, high speed vehicle pursuit, criminal investigation, survival Spanish, hostage negotiations, radio procedures, search and seizure, crash investigation, drug identification, traffic control, crowd control, armed robbery response, land navigation, electronic crimes, sex crimes, hate crimes, domestic violence, bomb threats and hazardous materials. And that’s just a partial list.
They face physical training that includes running more than 170 miles, marching more than 50 miles and performing some 3,600 push-ups.
“This mental and physical training is designed to instill the knowledge, motivation and discipline needed for self-sufficiency,” says Lucas. “A trooper in the field is often working alone. Help can sometimes be an hour away. The skills they learn here can often make a life-saving difference.”
“Our mission to protect the citizens of Kentucky requires tremendous commitment,” Lucas observes. “Being a trooper is more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle that stresses service, integrity and performance. It all begins right here at the Kentucky State Police Academy.”
For more information about how to become a Kentucky State Police Trooper, contact the KSP Recruitment Branch at 502-695-6320 or visit the KSP web site at www.kentuckystatepolice.org.