Meet Georgia’s newest state troopers

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The Georgia State Patrol graduated its 111th Trooper School on Friday at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth.

After 32 weeks of intense training, 41 new troopers will report to one of the 52 patrol posts throughout the state.

Governor Brian Kemp was the keynote speaker, and also issued the Oath of Office.  Additionally remarks were given by Colonel Chris C. Wright, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, and Captain Clayton Kicklighter, Director of Training. 

Trooper Cadets spend 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks in field training.  The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council requires that all peace officers receive a minimum of 408 hours of Basic Mandate Training. 


At the completion of Trooper School, these newly graduated troopers received over 1,400 hours of training, including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other training.

During remarks to his fellow class members, Trooper Matthew Bellflower, class president, reflected on their journey through Trooper School. “We earned this, this was not given to us,” Bellflower said.  “I challenge each of you to develop your individual professionalism that coincides with the professionalism of the Georgia State Patrol.” 

Trooper Townsend also received a $5,000 scholarship towards a Master’s degree from Reinhardt University for having the highest academic average, 95.55,  in his class. This scholarship is named after CPL Chadwick LeCroy who was killed in the line of duty on December 27, 2010.  

Four of the graduates received special honors for top performance in various proficiencies. The honorees were: 

  • Driving Proficiency – Trooper Cameron Fernandez
  • Firearms Proficiency – Trooper Dylan Smith
  • Top Gun – Trooper Christopher Cronsell
  • Highest Academic Average – Trooper Ryan Townsend


Additionally, the following graduates were recognized for their leadership: Trooper Joseph Elsberry, Vice President; Trooper Ryan Townsend, Secretary; Trooper Joseph Song, Chaplain; Trooper Cedric Riche, Sergeant-at-Arms; and Trooper Devin Story, Pennant Bearer.

Each commissioned trooper will report to the following assigned post: 

Bryce BakerPost 24-Newnan
Matthew BellflowerPost 19-Swainsboro
Donald BonnerPost 16-Helena 
Benjamin BrewerPost 21-Sylvania
Cameron CainPost 31-Valdosta
Greta CherryPost 6-Gainesville
Joshua CockrellPost 33-Milledgeville
Morgan CreanPost 35-Jekyll Island
Christopher CronsellPost 18-Reidsville
Tyler CrowePost 17-Washington
Kyle DukePost 13-Tifton
Dustin EdwardsPost 3-Cartersville
Joseph ElsberryPost 5-Dalton
Cameron FernandezPost 47-Forest Park
Matthew GilbertPost 2-LaGrange
Edith GonzalezPost 35-Jekyll Island
Nicholas GuerraPost 9-Marietta
Michael HaggardPost 3-Cartersville
Justin HarpPost 29-Paulding
Dallas HarperPost 11-Hinesville
Benjamin HeidemanPost 8-Madison
Hunter HumphriesPost 40-Albany
Justin LewisPost 30-Cordele
William MeffordPost 43-Calhoun
Camron NeelyPost 3-Cartersville
Connor OutlawPost 20-Dublin
Andrew J. PeeplesPost 32-Athens
Andrew T. PeeplesPost 40-Albany
Cedric RichePost 48-Atlanta
Dylan Smith Post 14-Colquitt
Joseph SongPost 51-Gwinnett
Jackie StephensPost 5-Dalton
Devin StoryPost 5-Dalton
Joseph SuttonPost 26-Thomaston
Ryan TownsendPost 43-Calhoun
Matthew VandiverPost 52-Hartwell
Tyler ViningPost 25-Grovetown
Matthew WardPost 2-LaGrange
Jacquez WillisPost 34-Manchester
Nigel WilmorePost 44-Forsyth
Joshua WinterPost 36-Douglas