EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) commissioned 77 new Texas Highway Patrol Troopers from its A-2020 recruit class during a graduation ceremony held on Friday, July 17.
The troopers will join the ranks of thousands of commissioned DPS officers across the state.
“These 77 new Troopers are now part of a larger legion of men and women who have devoted their lives to serving the public and protecting our communities,” said Texas Public Safety Commission Chairman Steven P. Mach. “Their hard work and perseverance during the Training Academy has shown their exemplary commitment to their duties as law enforcement officers, and I want to thank each of them for their dedication to protecting and serving Texans.”
Governor Greg Abbott delivered the keynote address during Friday’s graduation ceremony for Class A-2020.
This was the department’s 166th recruit class, and the recruits ranged in age from 21 to 42 years old. Fifteen recruits had prior law enforcement experience, 29 served in the military and two recruits celebrated the birth of a baby. The class even had a former NFL player in its lineup.
“Class A-2020 underwent rigorous training during a unique and unprecedented time, and I’m proud of these 77 men and women for overcoming challenges, remaining dedicated to their mission and persevering through everything that was thrown at them,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The training that our recruits undergo prepares them for their careers as Texas Highway Patrol Troopers, and I am pleased to welcome each of them to the DPS ranks.”
Officials said this recruit class had to tackle some very unique challenges during the 27-week Training Academy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To do so, the recruits underwent twice-daily health screenings, were divided into multiple classrooms and even socially distanced during meals in the cafeteria.
The recruits will report to their individual duty stations on Aug. 3.