103 cadets to receive elite law enforcement training to serve and protect the commonwealth
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2023) – Today, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) welcomed 103 new cades who will begin their career of service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a member of an elite group of law enforcement officers.
“Wanting to wear the sacred badge of honor like those honorable troopers who came before you is a true testament to your desire to create a better, safer Kentucky," Gov. Andy Beshear said. “We wish you the best as you begin your training and thank you in advance for your service. Team Kentucky will be praying for you, supporting you and advocating for resources to keep you safe as you work to keep us safe."
Due to the recent $15,000 salary increase for KSP sworn personnel and tireless efforts from the recruitment branch, sworn numbers for the agency have increased. KSP now employs 899 troopers, which is an increase of approximately 22% from 736 troopers in Nov. 2021.
Today's new group of cadets represent the largest starting class since 2014. Cadet Class 103 consists of 94 men and women who are beginning their law enforcement career, and 9 officers from other law enforcement agencies participating in the KSP Law Enforcement Accelerated Program (LEAP).
“You are embarking on a journey that will challenge you mentally and physically, but also one that will prepare you for something greater – the selfless act of service to our great commonwealth," said Commissioner Burnett. “The job of a trooper is not a job, it is a way of life. At times it will be difficult and demanding, and many times perilous, but it will also be rewarding, respectful and merciful."
Cadet classes include twenty-four weeks of basic training with more than 1,000 hours of classroom and field study in subjects such as constitutional law, juvenile and traffic law, use of force, weapons training, first aid, high speed vehicle pursuit, criminal investigation, computer literacy, hostage negotiations, evidence collection, radio procedures, search and seizure, crash investigation, drug identification, crowd control, armed robbery response, land navigation, electronic crimes, sex crimes, hate crimes, domestic violence, bomb threats, hazardous materials, implicit bias, race relations and social intelligence. For those officers joining KSP they bring a minimum two years of law enforcement experience and undergo an accelerated thirteen-week academy.
KSP Academy Commander Captain Shawn Darby encouraged the cadets of Cadet Class 103 to give everything they have during this once in a lifetime opportunity.
“Motivation is temporary. To successfully negotiate this Academy it will take discipline , grit and a will to serve others before yourself," said Capt. Darby.
For the first time in the agency's history, this cadet class will receive training on the recently purchased integrated video recording system as they will be equipped with body-worn cameras upon graduation. In January, KSP demonstrated the Motorola M500 Integrated System, which includes a V300 body-worn camera, audio recording device and in-car video with high-definition cameras, which will record a forward dash view and the rear passenger compartment of the patrol vehicle.
The mission of KSP is to promote public safety through service, integrity and professionalism using partnerships to prevent, reduce and deter crime and the fear of crime, enhance highway safety through education and enforcement, and safeguard property and protect individual rights.
To learn more about becoming a KSP trooper visit, www.JoinKSP.com.
Cadet Class 103 demographics:
African American: 3
American Indian or Alaskan Native: 1
Hispanic or Latino: 1
Two or more races: 5
Age range: 20 – 48
Cadets represent the following Kentucky counties: Ballard, Barren, Bath, Bell, Bourbon, Bullitt. Butler, Calloway, Campbell, Carter, Casey, Clay, Fayette, Fleming, Floyd, Franklin, Gallatin, Garrard, Graves, Green, Greenup, Hardin, Harlan, Hart, Henry, Hopkins, Hyden, Jackson, Jefferson, Jessamine, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Letcher, Lincoln, Madison, Marshall, McCreary, Metcalfe, Nelson, Ohio, Oldham, Perry, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Shelby, Taylor, Union, Warren, Wayne, Whitley
Cadets from out-of-state represent: Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio
Beshear-Coleman Administration Committed to Making Kentucky a National Leader in Public Safety
The Beshear-Coleman administration's top priority is the safety of all Kentuckians. The Governor's public safety actions are creating safer communities and a better Kentucky now and into the future.
The recently enacted bipartisan state budget signed by Gov. Beshear allows the commonwealth to take additional steps to make Kentucky a leader in public safety by enhancing law enforcement training, creating safer communities and improving the safety of both law enforcement officers and Kentuckians. In July, the Governor announced additional steps to enhance public and officer safety, including funding for a new firearms training facility, a Western Kentucky training site feasibility study and an increased training stipend for law enforcement officers.
In October, the administration took another step forward in creating safer communities by awarding more than $350,000 in grant funding to prevent youth crime across the commonwealth.
In June, Gov. Beshear announced the Military to Law Enforcement Program (M-2-LE). M-2-LE allows local law enforcement agencies in Kentucky to hire active service members within all U.S. military branches during their last 180 days of service. Upon being contracted by a law enforcement agency, the military member will continue to receive their pay and benefits from the U.S. Military while they undergo law enforcement training at the Department of Criminal Justice Training.
In April, the Governor signed into law two pieces of legislation recently passed by the General Assembly to make historic investments in law enforcement by providing funds to KSP to recruit, train and retain the essential workforce needed to continue to provide the highest level of security to all Kentuckians. House Bill 259 ensures that all troopers received a $15,000 raise. KSP now offers one of the top five starting salaries for sworn officers in the commonwealth, with compensation starting at $61,500 annually. By signing Senate Bill 209, Gov. Beshear established paid vacation, sick leave and holiday pay, as well as enhanced health insurance contribution payments for retired KSP troopers and CVE officers.
Also, as the Governor recommended in January 2022, $12.2 million was included in the state budget for KSP to purchase body cameras, which is the first time in the commonwealth's history that funding has been allocated for this much-needed expense.
In March 2022, the Governor and KSP announced that 71 cadets had graduated the agency's basic training academy and are reporting for duty across the commonwealth with a focus on creating a better and safer Kentucky. Cadet Class 101 is the largest KSP basic training academy graduating class since 2014.
In 2021, the Governor allocated $500,000 for KSP to expand their recruitment efforts. KSP expanded the recruitment department by hiring minorities and females into the recruitment branch and developed a marketing initiative to reach individuals from Kentucky's 120 counties. Innovative, digital ads were launched in unique venues, such as colleges and universities, outdoor billboards in rural communities, and social media and streaming television platforms. Additionally, KSP is partnering with Dr. Aaron Thompson of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and Vikki Stone of the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet and working closely with retired minority KSP Troopers to further improve their diversity recruitment efforts.
The Governor has also supported legislative action like Senate Bill 64 and House Bill 254, making it easier for law enforcement to conduct undercover stings and increase the chances of stopping a horrific crime against a child from being facilitated through the internet. These actions will also give law enforcement officers the authority to charge offenders with harsher crimes to keep them away from the public, preventing further interactions with Kentucky's most vulnerable population.
Since taking office, Gov. Beshear has awarded almost $8 million in grant funding to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in purchasing the tools and resources that will not only allow them to protect Kentucky communities but will also ensure their safety as they stand on the front lines every day. Recently, the administration announced nearly $2 million in grant funding to enhance public safety, curb the sale of illegal drugs and fight addiction.