On Monday, Dec. 5, 24 newly graduated troopers will report to their assigned posts throughout the state of Georgia. This is the 98th Trooper School for the Georgia State Patrol. The graduation took place on Veteran’s Day, Friday, Nov. 11, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, after 31 weeks of intense training. Brigadier General Joe Jarrard, Adjutant General of Georgia, was the keynote speaker. Additional remarks were given by Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Captain Scott Woodell, Director of Training. The Oath of Office was issued by Lt. Colonel Russell Powell, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. Trooper Cadets spend 18 weeks at the academy, 12 weeks in field training, and returned 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 which includes child passenger safety technician certification. During remarks to his fellow class members, Tpr. Dwayne R. Porter, class president, reflected on their camaraderie as individuals who became one class…one family. He closed his remarks with words which have become the motto for the 98th Class, “Stay Strong, Push Hard and Lead Well.” Each newly commissioned trooper was assigned to one of the 52 posts throughout the state.