DUNBAR — Not long after the West Virginia State Police graduated their first Cadet class since 2015 in November, a new Cadet class has been enlisted.
The West Virginia State Police (WVSP) held the enlistment ceremony for the 67th Cadet class at the WVSP Academy in Dunbar on Monday morning, enlisting 35 individuals.
“This is a good group,” Cpt. Reggie Patterson, WVSP spokesperson said. “There was just under 200 people that tested for this particular class. We tried to widdle it down to get some of the best of the best and we think we are going to do the state great once we get these individuals out on the road working.”
Testing for this 67th Cadet class began in August with physical testing, interviews and medical checks and graduation will be June 28. Between the enlistment on Monday and that late June date is 25 weeks of training. Following graduation, the class will continue to be in a probation period for several months.
“This has been something I have dreamed about since I was a little girl,” enlistee Victoria Jones said. “I have had a dream to be a West Virginia State Trooper. To fulfill that and to be here today is a dream come true.
“I have been in law enforcement as a probation officer for the last four, almost five years and it was rewarding. But it led me here and I think this will be even more rewarding to help the citizens of West Virginia and keep them safe.”
Jones, a Morgantown native, came into the testing for the class with that law enforcement background. Not everyone in the 67th Cadet class has a law enforcement background, unlike the accelerated 66th Cadet class that graduated in November.
The 66th Cadet class was an accelerated, non-traditional class where training lasted only 10 weeks and everyone was already certified as law enforcement officers.
“This 67th class is very important,” Patterson said. “We have struggled for the last few years of getting qualified applicants to come to the agencies. We hadn’t had any money for cadet classes so here recently we have two recent classes that are going to be graduating. This is definitely needed manpower to help and protect the citizens of the state of West Virginia.”
The 67th Cadet class is the first traditional class since 2015.
The WVSP is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019.
By Jake Flatley