Highway Patrol and American Legion host Youth Trooper Academy
PIERRE, S.D. — Selected South Dakota high school students are learning about life as a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper this week.
The ninth annual Youth Trooper Academy, sponsored by the Highway Patrol and the South Dakota American Legion, is being held at the Mickelson Law Enforcement Training Center in Pierre.
The high school students participate in both classroom and hands-on training in areas such as firearms safety, defensive driving, crash investigation, traffic stops, leadership and citizenship.
“If a student has ever thought about joining law enforcement, this is their chance to experience it first hand,” said Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “Some of our current troopers went through this academy as high school students and many of them have told us that being part of the Youth Academy deepened their desire to eventually join the Highway Patrol.”
The 23 academy participants, most who are high school juniors or seniors, were selected by representatives from the Highway Patrol and American Legion. Academy activities began Monday and will end with a graduation ceremony on Friday.
“This academy is not only about law enforcement, but also developing these young people into leaders,” said South Dakota American Legion Commander Gary Wolkow of DeSmet. “This is another way that the American Legion can help prepare for the future.”
Among those from West River attending the Youth Trooper Academy are:
- Gelatea Pauling, Sturgis Brown
- Shelby Swets, Spearfish
- Riley Bock, Rapid City Central
- Mitchell Miller, Rapid City Stevens
- Noah Weishaar, New Underwood