January 22, 2019

GSP Graduates 30 Trooper Cadets in 96th Trooper School

96th Class(Forsyth, GA) — On March 16, 30 newly graduated troopers will report to their assigned posts throughout the state of Georgia. This is the 96th Trooper School for the Georgia State Patrol.

The graduation took place on Friday, February 20, 2015, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth after 31 weeks of intense training.

Governor Nathan Deal was the keynote speaker. Additional remarks were given by Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Capt. Scott Woodell, Director of Training.  The Oath of Office was issued by Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harold Melton.

Trooper Cadets spend 18 weeks at the academy, 12 weeks in field training, and return to the academy for one week of preparation for graduation.

The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires that all peace officers receive a minimum of 400 hours of Basic Mandate Training.

At the completion of Trooper School, these newly graduated trooper cadets received over 1,500 hours of training, including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other training.

During remarks to his fellow class members, class president, Tpr. Michael M. Bailey, reflected on the brotherhood they had created over the past 31 weeks and its importance to their roles as state troopers.

Four of the graduates received special honors for top performance in various fields of study. The honorees were:


  • Highest Firearms Proficiency – Tpr. Dillon K. Rutledge

  • Highest Driving Proficiency – Tpr. Nicholas Carter

  • Highest Academic Average – Tpr. Michael B. Nolen

  • Top Gun – Tpr. Dillon K. Rutledge

For the first time in the Georgia State Patrol’s history, the trooper who maintained the highest academic average received a $1,000 scholarship towards a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Reinhardt University. This scholarship was awarded to Tpr. Nicholas Carter for maintaining a 97.86 academic average.

Additionally, the following graduates were recognized for their leadership:  Tpr. Jacob P. Sanchez, Vice President; Tpr. Michael B. Nolen, Secretary/Treasurer; Tpr. Harold B Cox, Jr., Sergeant-At-Arms; Tpr. Anthony S. Clark, Pennant Bearer; and Tpr. Kenneth J. Rugsby, Chaplain.

Each commissioned trooper will report to his post on March 16, 2015. The new graduates are assigned to one of the 52 posts throughout the state.


Glenn Altman Dublin, GA Post 21 – Sylvania
Michael Bailey Atlanta, GA Post 48 – Atlanta
Victor Brown Albany, GA Post 39 – Cuthbert
Nicholas Carter Social Circle, GA Post 32 – Athens
Christopher Choi Lawrenceville, GA Post 32 – Athens
Anthony Clark Dothan, AL Post 24- Newnan
Harold Cox Waycross, GA Post 35 – Jekyll Island
Cullen Debusk Decatur, TN Post 27 – Blue Ridge
Christopher Edmiston Kennesaw, GA Post 9 – Marietta
Brian Harman Pine Mountain, GA Post 24 – Newnan
James Hensley Ringgold, GA Post 5 – Dalton
Bryce King Pine Mountain, GA Post 24 – Newnan
Steven Kornegay Boston, GA Post 13 – Tifton
Hayden Lewis Covington, GA Post 25 – Grovetown
Cortney Lokey Milledgeville, GA Post 25 – Grovetown
Michael Moore Dallas, GA Post 9 – Marietta
Michael Nolen Lagrange, GA Post 34 – Manchester
Andrew Pitts Nashville, GA Post 36 – Douglas
Tyler Rickman Forsyth, GA Post 45 – Statesboro
Kenneth Rigsby Newnan, GA Post 4 – Villa Rica
Dillon Rutledge Union Point, GA Post 8 – Madison
Jonathan Salcedo Miami, FL Post 28 – Jasper
Jacob Sanchez Bainbridge, GA Post 39 – Cuthbert
Michael Shealy Acworth, GA Post 9 – Marietta
Andrew Simmons Thomaston, GA Post 15 – Perry
Adam Sloan Brunswick, GA Post 35 – Jekyll Island
Kane Smith Statesboro, GA Post 45 – Statesboro
Michael Strickland Thomaston, GA Post 15 – Perry
Blake Whiddon Marietta, GA Post 6 – Gainesville
Richard Youngblood McDonough, GA Post 48 – Atlanta



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