The Montana Highway Patrol commissioned eleven new troopers today at the 68th Advanced Academy Graduation ceremony. Attorney General Tim Fox addressed the graduates at the event, which took place at the Kleffner Ranch in East Helena.

In his remarks, Attorney General Tim Fox emphasized the importance of character to those who choose a career in law enforcement, telling the graduates, “You’ll undoubtedly be faced with many important choices in your careers from here forward. Many of those decisions will be easy to make, but there will be some tough ones, too. In each person’s life, there are many things over which we have little or no control. But what we do with our character is completely up to us.”

At the ceremony, four awards were presented:

Physical Fitness Award
Nicholas Wade
Awarded for exemplary standards during the physical fitness curriculum in the 68th MHP Academy.

The Michael Haynes Memorial Grant
End of Watch: March 27, 2009
Thomas Renz
This award was presented in loving memory of Trooper Michael W. Haynes – MHP 159 by his wife, Tawny Haynes.

Academic Award
Mickey Doherty
Awarded for exemplary standards during the academic curriculum in the 68th MHP Academy.

Camp Commander Award
Jacob Jukkala and Mickey Doherty (tie)
Awarded for exemplary standards and performance observed by the Camp Commanders in the 68th MHP Academy.

Members of the 68th academy class include:

Mickey Doherty
Hometown: Butte
Initial station: Bozeman

Christopher George
Hometown: Glasgow
Initial station: Glasgow

Tori Harris
Hometown: Pensacola, Florida
Initial station: Kalispell

Jacob Jukkala
Hometown: Fernandina Beach, Florida
Initial station: Great Falls

Andrew McFarland
Hometown: Susanville, California
Initial station: Hamilton

Noah Pacheco
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Initial station: Havre

Jacob Patton
Hometown: Shreveport, Louisiana
Initial station: Bozeman

Thomas Renz
Hometown: Butte
Initial station: Butte

Zachary Sommerfeld
Hometown: Sidney
Initial station: Sidney

Mary Strumpfer
Hometown: Seeley Lake
Initial station: Seeley Lake

Nicholas Wade
Hometown: Lebanon Township, New Jersey
Initial station: Dillon

Immediately following the graduation ceremony, three Captains were promoted:

Captain Justin Braun: Captain Braun is now District VI Commander in Kalispell.
Captain Conner Smith: Captain Smith is now Administrative Captain at Headquarters.
Captain Derek Werner: Captain Werner is now District VIII Commander in Havre.

On a related note, the Montana Highway Patrol started accepting applications on September 1 for new Troopers. Interested individuals should visit MHP’s website for details and apply by October 1. For more information about the Trooper selection process and requirements, contact MHP at 1-(877) 8-PATROL toll-free or (406) 444-3259.

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