Three new troopers reported to the Versailles Post May 12 to begin their careers as Indiana State troopers, according to Sgt. Noel Houze, public information officer.
On Nov. 10, 2013, of the 3,000 plus individuals who applied for a position in this class, 80 made the final cut and reported to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy to begin their training as members of the 73rd ISP Recruit class. Of the 80 who started, only 47 recruits were able to endure the entire 25 weeks of intense training, which included over 600 hours of classroom and 300 hours of hands-on practical and scenario based training.
Their hard work and dedication paid off May 1 in a graduation ceremony in the rotunda of the Indiana State Capitol, which included Gov. Mike Pence delivering the keynote address. The new troopers were then sworn in by the Honorable Brent Dickson, Indiana Supreme Court chief justice, after which each trooper was presented a badge. Reporting to Versailles were probationary Troopers Ethan Back, James Herbert and Dustin Whitaker.
Back, 21, is a lifelong resident of Ripley County and a 2011 South Ripley High School, Versailles, graduate. He attended Ivy Tech Community College, Madison, studying criminal Justice. Prior to entering the recruit academy, he worked as a courtesy clerk at Versailles Cash Savers.
Herbert, 27, is a 2006 South Decatur High School, Westport, graduate. He served six years in the United States Army and was deployed to Iraq from March 2008 to April 2009. He has a five-year-old daughter and before the recruit academy, he was employed by Dan Wenning Floor Finishing, Greensburg.
Whitaker, 24, is a native of Washington County and a 2009 Eastern High School, Pekin, graduate. He attended Ivy Tech Community College, Sellersburg, graduating in 2012 with an associate degree in criminal justice. Prior to attending the recruit academy, he served as a Henryville Correctional Facility kitchen supervisor and also served as a Salem Police Department reserve officer.
The three new troopers will continue their training for the next three months as part of the ISP Field Training Program, which pairs new troopers with veteran troopers or FTOs to allow the new recruits to take what they learned in the academy and apply it in the field under close supervision. Upon successful completion of their field training, they will be issued their own commissions and be assigned solo patrol responsibilities.