FOR RELEASE MARCH 21, 1997:
TALLAHASSEE - After six months of intensive law enforcement training, the 90th Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Recruit Class will graduate today at the Leon County Civic Center. For the first time in the history of the FHP, law enforcement recruits from another state agency have trained with FHP recruits and will graduate together in ceremonies scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Chief Darrell L. Sanders, Frankfort, Illinois Police Department, and President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), will deliver the keynote address at the graduation.
Fifty-four (54) FHP recruits and fourteen (14) recruits representing the Department of Environmental Protection/Division of Law Enforcement, Bureaus of Florida Marine Patrol and Florida Park Patrol, began basic law enforcement recruit training at the FHP Training Academy in Tallahassee on October 8, 1996.
Recruits from both agencies received identical basic law enforcement certification training during the first 17-weeks. During the last seven weeks of the 24-week class, recruits received agency-specific classes in separate classrooms, but otherwise ate, slept, and participated in formations and physical training as one unit.
"Our first combined recruit class has been a tremendous success for both the class and staff. The bond created during the training has helped to cultivate an excellent working relationship among these officers and their respective agencies," said Colonel Ron Grimming, Director of the FHP.
Another state law enforcement recruit class is already underway. The 91st FHP Recruit Class, consisting of 69 FHP and 18 DEP recruits, began training on January 7, 1997. The 91st class is scheduled to graduate on June 20, 1997.
Colonel Mickey Watson, Director of DEP Law Enforcement, said "We at the Department of Environmental Protection are very appreciative for the opportunity to share training resources with the Florida Highway Patrol. This first combined recruit class has been a rewarding experience for everyone. We look forward to combining training resources at every opportunity."
The Florida Highway Patrol will commence its' 92nd Recruit Class on April 7, 1997, and hopes to conduct another class in August of this year. The FHP is actively seeking qualified, college-educated, male and female applicants to fill anticipated slots in the class. The FHP has given preferential consideration for employment to applicants with two or more years of post-secondary education since February, 1994, while maintaining a successful affirmative action recruitment program. Interested parties should call their local FHP station or visit the Patrol's Home Page on the Internet for additional recruitment information.