Two local Troopers graduate in Class of 30 GSP 107th Trooper School

Press release from Georgia State Patrol

(FORSYTH) – The Georgia State Patrol graduated its 107th Trooper School on Friday, January 10, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth. Two local residents were in the graduating class – Kirk Brown of Gwinnett County who will be assigned to Post 51 in Gwinnett and Corey Wheeles, of Rockdale County who will be assigned to the Post 46 in Monroe. Wheeles also served as vice president of the class and was recognized for his leadership.

After 32 weeks of intense training, 30 new troopers will report to one of the 52 patrol posts throughout the state. Governor Brian P. Kemp was the keynote speaker. Governor Kemp also issued the Oath of Office.  Additionally, remarks were given by Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Capt. Joshua Lamb, Director of Training.

Trooper Cadets spend 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks in-field training.  The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires all peace officers receive a minimum of 400 hours of Basic Mandate Training.  At the completion of Trooper School, these newly graduated trooper cadets received over 1,500 hours of training, including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other training.

During remarks to his fellow class members, class president, Trooper Michael Fowler, reflected on how a diverse group of people put their differences aside and came together as one cohesive team. A team that did the best they could to get to where they are today…Georgia State Troopers.

Four of the graduates received special honors for top performance in various fields of study. The honorees were:

  • Driving Proficiency – Trooper Michael Fowler
  • Firearms Proficiency – Trooper JayCee Shepard
  • Highest Academic Average – Trooper Marina Thrift
  • Top Gun – Trooper Zachary Walker

Trooper Thrift also received a $1,000 scholarship towards a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Reinhardt University for having the highest academic average (99) in his class.

Additionally, the following graduates were recognized for their leadership: Trooper Corey Wheeles, Vice President; Trooper Taylor Genoway, Secretary/Treasurer; Trooper Seth Abbey, Chaplain; Trooper Barry Bennet, Sergeant-at-Arms; and Trooper JayCee Shepard, Pennant Bearer, and Trooper Willie Stephens; Pennant Base Bearer.

Each commissioned trooper will report to the following assigned post:

Seth Abbey Lee Post 10 – Americus
Philip Allen Carroll Post 4 – Villa Rica
Barry Bennett Tift Post 30 – Cordele
Kirk Brown Gwinnett Post 51 – Gwinnett
Brady Cooper Hart Post 6 – Gainesville
Brandon Crawford Columbia Post 25 – Grovetown
Antonio Curry Twiggs Post 20 – Dublin
Michael Fowler Gilmer Post 27 – Blue Ridge
Taylor Genoway Fulton Post 48 – Atlanta
Adrian Hargett Lowndes Post 15 – Perry
Mya Justice Hall Post 37 – Cumming
Keith Kammeraad Forsyth Post 37 – Cumming
John Leach Lee Post 39 – Cuthbert
Jared Marcum Bibb Post 44 – Forsyth
Steven McKinney Camden Post 23 – Brunswick
Christopher McNear Emanuel Post 19 – Swainsboro
Avery McWhorter Carroll Post 4 – Villa Rica
Vieux Ndoye Chatham Post 11 – Hinesville
Pedro Oritz Lowndes Post 36 – Douglas
Dillon Pate Houston Post 30 – Cordele
William Rivers Treutlen Post 18 – Reidsville
Monttez Shackleford Carroll Post 4 – Villa Rica
JayCee Shepard Upson Post 26 – Thomaston
Johnathon Simmons Stephens Post 6 – Gainesville
Willie Stephens Washington Post 33 – Milledgeville
Marina Thrift Ware Post 16 – Helena
Jocquez Timpson Calhoun Post 14 – Colquitt
Zachary Walker Columbia Post 25 – Grovetown
Corey Wheeles Rockdale Post 46 – Monroe
Cortney Williams Spalding Post 1 – Griffin
107th Georgia State Patrol graduating class. Contributing photo

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