OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The 61st Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy is underway with 54 cadets reporting for duty.
The twenty week, 1,300 training hours, live-in academy promises rigorous mental, physical and emotional demands on cadets as they learn public safety techniques, collision reconstruction, traffic enforcement, alcohol, drug and motor vehicle/boating laws.
Other training the cadets will undergo will be OHP history, physical fitness, patrol vehicle operations, firearms, drill and ceremony and OHP customs and courtesies.
Six women will begin the academy, the most females ever to start an OHP academy.
DPS Commissioner Mike Thompson made it a priority of his administration to recruit qualified women and other minorities.
“It is important for our agency to reflect the diversity of Oklahoma. We had 72 women apply and six qualified women made it through the application process. We are excited for all the cadets as they begin their training and pursue a career with the Patrol,” Thompson said.
The 54 OHP cadets come from all walks of life. 12 are U.S. Military veterans, nine of those are combat veterans having served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
46% of the cadets have had previous law enforcement experience.
Other occupations represented include; farmhand, waitress, information technology, veterinarian assistant, banking, oilfield, landscaping and electrician.
For others, this will be their first job since graduation from college.
The cadet’s ages range between 23 and 35, with the median age being 27.
OHP is authorized 925 troopers and currently 769 troopers serve the citizens of Oklahoma throughout the 77 counties of Oklahoma.