KENTUCKY (KFVS) - A new group of law enforcement officers will soon be protecting part of the Heartland as Kentucky State Troopers.
63 officers from throughout the Commonwealth made their way to the Kentucky State Police Academy in Frankfort, KY on Sunday, May 21 to begin an intensive, accelerated training program.
This is Cadet Class 95 and they are the fourth Law Enforcement Accelerated Program (LEAP) class.
LEAP is a course for current officers who have two years of Kentucky Police Officer Professional Standards (POPS) law enforcement experience.
The training cycle will run for an accelerated 12 weeks rather than the 24 weeks of a traditional class.
Captain Donald Wilson, commander of the KSP Training Academy, said the shorter training cycle does not take away the high standards for trooper applicants.
"All applicants have completed a rigorous hiring process that includes a written test, physical test, oral interview, polygraph exam, a very thorough background investigation, medical exam, and psychological exam," Wilson said. "Also, they still have to successfully complete the KSP training curriculum, one of the toughest law enforcement training programs in the country."
On the first day, applicants engaged in a variety of physical events such as weight lifting, sit-ups, push-ups, a 300 meter run and a 1-1/2 mile run.
"This program is a win-win situation. It puts more troopers on the road quickly, which enhances the safety of our citizens," KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders said. "At the same time, it offers experienced law enforcement professionals a great opportunity to receive world-class training and serve on a broader scope throughout the Commonwealth."
The members of the class come from several departments across the state.
41 members are from municipal police departments and 17 are from county sheriffs' offices or departments.
Three are KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers and two are officers of the Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
28 police departments throughout Kentucky are represented in this class as well as 12 sheriffs' offices and two state agencies.
KSP is now accepting applications for Cadet Class 96, a 24-week traditional program scheduled to begin in early 2018.
However, with this class of applicants, the agency recently announced new hiring qualifications.
Anyone who possesses a high school diploma or GED and has three years of work experience now qualifies to apply for employment as a Kentucky State Trooper. All application materials must be completed and returned to the Kentucky State Police Recruitment Branch by Friday, June 23, 2017.
Interested applicants should visit the KSP website at www.kentuckystatepolice.org.
If more information is needed after visiting the website, applicants can call toll-free 1-866-360-3165.