The Trooper R class take the oath. (Source: Rick Miller, WAVE 3 News)
Sgt. Michael Webb (Source: Rick Miller, WAVE 3 News)
David Decker (Source: Rick Miller, WAVE 3 News)
FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - If you break the laws or find yourself in trouble on the roads of Kentucky highways and byways, you will find yourself in the hands of very experienced troopers.
The announcement by Trooper Michael Webb was very official.
“We are going to be swearing in 11 Trooper R’s today,” Webb said.
But this gathering of the Kentucky State Police was a celebration for the troopers and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
“It was a pleasure the last time I swore you in,” said Chief Judge Sara Comes. “It’s an even bigger pleasure your coming back.”
Eleven new, but old, Trooper R are back out on Kentucky roads. The "R" stands for retired, but they are now back on the job. David Decker retired as Detective Sergeant, but he loves the job and the community enough to come back.
“We're young enough we're we feel like we're still able to contribute to the state police,” said Decker.
“They get experienced officers who can hit the ground running and they don't have to train us,” said David Beck, another retired Detective Sergeant.
It takes 23 weeks of training before new cadets are sworn in as a Kentucky state trooper. After that, they get eight weeks of field training and a year of acclamation to the force.
“We are glad we are able to bring those folks back to add to our manpower,” said Webb.
That's because more manpower hopefully leads to less problems.
“The re-employment of all these veteran officers really enhances the ability of the Kentucky State Police to provide effect law enforcement services to the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Webb.
If you know the road ahead ask someone who has traveled it. These 11 officers have traveled it and protected it for years. Decker spent 24 years with KSP, but this time there are no special assignments, supervisor positions or detective duties this time around.
“All these folks that are coming back for the Trooper R program will be road troopers working the road,” said Webb.
A special amendment passed in 2009 means the Kentucky State Police is able to have a special force. That, said Webb, means KSP can tap into the experience and training of troopers that have walked out the agency’s doors.