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Troopers graduate

There will soon be 45 new Alabama State Troopers beginning duty, doing their best to keep state roadways as safe as possible.

Gov. Don Siegelman addressed 45 new state troopers during a graduation ceremony held Wednesday.

"It is important that we continue to increase safety and security in Alabama," said Siegelman. "Our new troopers join the best men and women in law enforcement. Their hard work and dedication will help keep Alabama families safe."

The new troopers recently finished

21 weeks of intensive training at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center in Selma in preparation for initial duty assignments in the Alabama Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division.

The new officers will report to trooper posts throughout the state to begin a 10-week field training and evaluation program under the supervision of veteran state troopers.

Troopers are selected through a rigorous application process, as out of 368 individuals who expressed an interest in becoming a trooper, 73 were selected for the academy and 45 completed the 21-week training period.

Department of Public Safety Director Col. Jim Alexander joined Siegelman and administered the oath of office to commission the new officers.

He challenged the new troopers to exhibit honesty, integrity, pride, quality, performance and professionalism as they perform their everyday duties in service to the people of Alabama. Sgt. Richard I. Mack of the New York City Police Department was guest speaker at the graduation ceremony. Mack assisted with the recovery effort at the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"I commend the members of Class 2002-A for their hard work at the trooper academy and congratulate them on becoming Alabama's newest state troopers," said Alexander.

Siegelman has worked to support DPS in its efforts to improve public safety in Alabama.

In Sept. 20, Siegelman announced a $5.6 million grant that will fund the salaries for 75 new state troopers.

Including these 75 troopers, the 45 new trooper graduates and the 90 trooper candidates the DPS has budgeted for next year, the state will put a total of 210 new troopers on the road by the end of 2003.

On Oct. 9, Siegelman announced the addition of five unmarked cars to the DPS patrol fleet to help Alabama state troopers implement a new highway safety project for the Interstate

20 corridor in Jefferson and St. Clair counties.