Patrol graduates 100th class

A Walla Walla man was among the 37 new troopers sworn in Friday.

Here is a look at the Washington State Patrol’s special badge commemorating their 100th class graduating from basic training.

Here is a look at the Washington State Patrol’s special badge commemorating their 100th class graduating from basic training.

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The Washington State Patrol completed its 100th basic training program Friday with the swearing in of 37 new troopers, including one from Walla Walla.

“The 37 cadets graduating today endured a rigorous application process, extensive background investigation and received the best training, unmatched anywhere else in the nation,” Chief John Batiste said in an announcement. “Today they will join the ranks of Washington’s finest, as troopers of the Washington State Patrol.”

Spencer G. Kelty of Walla Walla was part of the graduating class that completed more than 1,000 hours of training. His service will be in Sunnyside, Wash.

In recognition of the commemorative class, troopers have been authorized to wear a specially designed badge. All commissioned personnel will wear them for a year.

“Graduating our 100th class of troopers is an amazing milestone,” Batiste said in a statement. “In the entire history of our agency, only about 3,000 people have ever served as troopers. This badge is intended to honor every one of them.”

The badge was designed by trooper Eric Handley, who incorporated the history of the agency, the blue and gold uniform colors and the agency’s motto: “Service With Humility.” His niece, Mychal Handley, an Evergreen State College student, assisted. The badge was manufactured by C.W. Nielsen in Chehalis, Wash.

The last time the agency broke from tradition with its badge was in 2003, when personnel wore a special badge to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Washington’s becoming a territory.

The graduation of the 100th Trooper Basic Training Class took place in the Capitol Rotunda. The agency produces about three cadet classes each biennium for a total of about 120 new troopers in that period. Only about 4 to 6 percent of applicants become troopers.

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