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Highway Patrol Graduation Friday, Largest Group in 43 years

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Contact: Tony Mangan, Department of Public Safety, 773-6196



Highway Patrol Graduation Friday;

Largest Group in 43 years


PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s Highway Patrol officially welcomes its largest group of new troopers to the agency in more than 40 years this Friday during a graduation ceremony held in the State Capitol Rotunda in Pierre.


Class 59 consists of 20 recruits -- 15 men and five women. It is the Highway Patrol’s largest class since 25 recruits graduated in 1974.


“This is a good group of recruits, who come from many different backgrounds and perspectives,” says Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “Their different skill sets and life experiences will make the Patrol stronger and help us to better meet the needs of the public.”


The recruits have completed eight months of training which included basic law enforcement training, attending the South Dakota Highway Patrol Recruit Academy and finally, field training. The period from initial application to graduation is about one year.


“This has been an intense period of training, but these recruits need to be ready for any situation they might face,” says Price. “It has not been easy, but Friday’s graduation is the culmination of their hard work and dedication. We look forward to celebrating the moment with the recruits and their families.”


The graduating recruits and their duty stations are: Jeremy Biegert, Belle Fourche; Zach Bruzelius, Pierre; Andrew Buns, Wall; Joshua De Wild, Chamberlain; Paige Erickson, Rapid City; Brian Gordon, Murdo; Ashley Granville, Pierre; Tyler Jackson, Rapid City; Shane Johnson, Mitchell; Peter Klein, Belle Fourche; Jordan Melius, Aberdeen; Devin Olson, Britton; Eric Peterson, Beresford; Brandon Ridgeway, Brookings; Brynne Rist, Platte; Maxwell Schrader, Spearfish; Sara Schumacher, Pierre; Jared Smith, Gettysburg; Daniel Woodring, Rapid City; and Tyler Woodside, Faith.


Gov. Dennis Daugaard is the guest speaker for the ceremony, which starts at 10 a.m.  At the end of graduation, the new troopers will receive their patrol cars which will be parked behind the state Capitol. Many of the graduates are scheduled to be on duty as early as Saturday, July 22.


The public is invited to attend the ceremony.


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.