In a unique ceremony, the Minnesota State Patrol’s 61st Training Academy graduated 22 cadets.
The ceremony took place at Camp Ripley, and to maintain social distancing standards, the event was livestreamed for families of the cadets. The ceremony also highlighted the challenges law enforcement face during the COVID-19 pandemic now and in the future.
The graduating class that began on Jan. 4 includes two women and eight people of color, according to a news release. The Minnesota State Patrol’s core values — respect, integrity, courage, honor and excellence — were the focus of a ceremony April 11.
The Minnesota State Patrol 61st Training Academy graduation can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/MJDSzSdYt74
New troopers are:
Cody Boegeman is an Army veteran and former correctional officer. Boegeman was also a sponsored skateboarder before becoming a trooper.
Brennon Brase worked as a security officer.
Christopher Caldwell worked for St. Paul Public Works.
Nathan Elzen was a YMCA building supervisor before becoming a trooper.
Breidy Garcia, who was born in Honduras, worked as a community health worker for Henepin County Medical Center.
Andres Guerra was a police officer in Iowa.
Kalvin Harris was born in Liberia and worked for Boston Scientific before coming to the patrol.
Alex Hervery is an Army veteran and was a dispatcher for Mayo Clinic.
Curtis Jepson was a Veterans Affairs counselor.
Jenifer Josephson was a correctional officer and saving lives even before graduation. Trooper Josephson donated a kidney to her cousin.
Brandon Lindemoen was a Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputy.
Rachel McCabe worked for Sherwin Williams. Trooper McCabe also played rugby for 11 years.
Jacob Moen was an instructional designer and a professor.
Arrue Nephew was a security officer.
Justin Knowles was a police officer for the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department.
John Ophoven played cello in an orchestra and three string quartet with his siblings.
Scott Oslund was a 911 dispatcher.
Adam Rochlin can play five instruments, including the piano, which he’s played for 19 years.
Spencer Stockwell sailed around Cape Horn.
Clifford Weidell was a cheerleader in college.
Brandon Thongvivong originally went to school for business management.
Anthony Zajac has been skating since the age of 3 and playing competitive hockey since 4-years-old.
Due to COVID-19 challenges, the 16-week course at Camp Ripley was condensed to 14-weeks, with cadets staying at Camp Ripley seven days a week in order to complete all the required training. The training consisted of numerous activities including:
Motor vehicle crash investigation,
Emergency vehicle operations,
Communication and scenario-based training.
The state patrol will begin accepting applications for its next academy June 1 for those with prior law enforcement experience or those who are or will be POST eligible by that start of the academy.
The Law Enforcement Training Opportunity program provides candidates the educational requirements necessary to take the state’s peace officer licensing test. Upon completion of the program, trooper trainees attend the academy with all other traditional applicants.
All applicants must have at least a two-year degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited school.