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Gov. Beshear: Kentucky Celebrates 75 Years of Service and Protection From the State Police

Enhancing public and officer safety, creating safer communities

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 19, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined state and local leaders to celebrate 75 years of the Kentucky State Police (KSP) enhancing public safety by creating safer communities as one of the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies.

“For 75 years, the state police have served our commonwealth and our families, making this state a safer place to call home,” said Gov. Beshear. “As Governor and as a dad, I am grateful for all our KSP heroes. Their sacrifice and commitment to all Kentuckians is second to none.”

KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr. highlighted several celebratory events KSP has hosted, including a 75th Anniversary Ball for employees and retirees, a wrapped Dodge Charger cruiser with a blue and white paint scheme from the 1970s, a challenge coin and other custom-designed items to mark the momentous occasion.

“I am honored to reflect on the rich history and the many contributions that have been made to our agency over the years,” Commissioner Burnett said. “We are proud to have played a significant role in the history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and we remain committed to continuing our tradition of excellence of those who came before us, in service and protection for many years to come.”

Since its inception in 1948, KSP has grown not only in number of personnel but departments. Today, KSP has a total of 1,890 employees, which includes both civilian and sworn personnel, and provides an array of law enforcement services to Kentucky’s 120 counties. Among those services: telecommunicators, laboratory testing, K-9 units, aircraft branch, internet crimes against children, 16 post locations, drug enforcement, the Safe Schools Program, Trooper Island, the Angel Initiative and a wide range of assistance to local law enforcement agencies.

Retired KSP Lt. Col. Robert Milligan, who served as the agency’s highest-ranking African American from 1976-2003, and retired KSP Colonel Linda Mayberry, the agency’s highest-ranking female, serving from 1979-2003, spoke during the event on the history of the agency.

“The Kentucky State Police was the conduit for the formation of relationships that will endure, and those relationships personify the organization itself,” said Ret. Lt. Col. Milligan.

“Over its 75-year history, the Kentucky State Police and the brave women and men who serve have positively impacted countless lives, including mine,” said Ret. Col. Mayberry. “Even as years go by, one thing that remains constant is KSP’s honor, courage, and commitment.” 

Since the agency’s inception, 37 troopers, officers and highway patrolmen have lost their lives in service to the commonwealth. Those heroes and their families made the ultimate sacrifice while showing the courage, dedication and bravery that makes a Kentucky State Trooper, and they were recently remembered during the agency’s annual memorial ceremony.

The Beshear-Coleman administration’s top priority is the safety of all Kentuckians. Gov. Beshear recognizes the crucial role the Kentucky State Police plays in this mission and has fought for the agency since taking office.

In July 2022, the Governor announced additional steps to enhance public and officer safety while continuing to provide for law enforcement and their families. Gov. Beshear championed an increase in the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund training stipend during the 2022 Regular Legislative Session. He was able to work with the General Assembly to increase the stipend from $4,000 to $4,300 annually.

In April 2022, the Governor signed legislation he championed the previous year that funds a $15,000 raise for all troopers and a starting pay increase for sworn officers from $37,887 to $55,888 annually. In 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 commercial vehicle enforcement 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. Earlier this year, KSP demonstrated the new recording system, which will be distributed to approximately 780 sworn personnel.

KSP’s focus this year is to maintain and strengthen its essential workforce in order to better provide public safety, maintain critical services and better reflect the diverse communities that KSP serves. For more information about KSP’s commitment to creating a better Kentucky, click here.

Applications are open to apply for Cadet Class 104. The deadline to apply is close of business August 31. Individuals accepted to join Cadet Class 104, which is slated to begin in January 2024, will earn $65,000 annually, have access to an improved retirement system with a sick leave buyback program and the opportunity to work closer to home.

If you want to be part of KSP’s history and apply for a career, visit their website. For additional information and questions, email the KSP Recruitment branch at

To view photos from the event, click here.​