Youth trooper academy this week


PIERRE – South Dakota high school students from 18 different school districts will live the life of a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper this week.

The 23 students are  attending the annual Youth Trooper Academy at the Mickelson Law Enforcement Training Center in Pierre. The event, now in its 10th year, is sponsored by the Highway Patrol and the South Dakota American Legion.

Academy activities began Monday, June 20, and will end with a graduation ceremony Friday, June 24. The students will participate in classroom and hands-on training such as firearms safety, defensive driving, crash investigation, traffic stops, leadership and citizenship.

“Some of our current troopers participated in the academy as high school students, and they say their Youth Academy experience helped deepen their interest in joining the Highway Patrol,” said Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “This week is a great way for students to learn more about the Highway Patrol.”

Academy participants were selected by representatives from the Highway Patrol and American Legion. Most of those chosen are high school juniors or seniors.

“This academy is not only about law enforcement, but also developing these young people into leaders,” said Doug Feltman of Chamberlain, the prospective department commander for the South Dakota American Legion. “This is another way that the American Legion can help prepare for the future.”

Those attending the Youth Trooper Academy and their high schools are: Kasey Broers, Pierre T.F. Riggs; Brady Brown, Rapid City Stevens; Zeke Bryan, Canton; Kelsee Colgrove, Spearfish; Kaeley Dixon, Brookings; Lexy Guardado, Sturgis Brown; Navarre Head, Harding County; Noel Kastner, Redfield; Chel Larsen, Andes Central; Maya Lee, Dell Rapids; Kimber Natvig, Pierre T.F. Riggs; Devynn Nelson, Mount Vernon; Jacob Novak, White Lake; Paige Pederson, Vermillion; Derrick Rasmussen, Chamberlain; Reese Riemenschneider, Tea Area; Kolby Rosser, Sturgis Brown; Jaydon Schmalz, Deuel; Sydni Snyder, Pierre T.F. Riggs; Hannah Stagman, Harrisburg; Nathan Swets, Spearfish; Radley Wendt, Philip; and, Madison Ziebarth, Harrisburg.

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