HELENA — On Friday at the Civic Center in Helena, 13 students officially became Montana Highway Patrol troopers.
After 23 weeks of training, the 74th class of MHP officers graduated, becoming the first class to train at the new Boulder campus.
With their family members and friends in the crowd, the officers dedicated their careers to serve the communities where they will be stationed.
Graduate Lance Hansen says the weeks of training and support from his family have pushed him to do his duty to serve.
Here is the roster of the graduates and their respective home towns:
- Matthew Cope; Dahlonega, Georgia
- Tyler Dager; Oneida, New York
- Michael Gray; Mount Vernon, Illinois
- Lance Hansen; Wibaux, Montana
- Tyrel Hendrickson; Chester, Montana
- Andy Ivanoff; Kalispell, Montana
- Jacob Millington; Castle Rock, Colorado
- Joseph Oliver; Damascus, Maryland
- Eric Paulsen; Stevensville, Montana
- Tiana Ripo; Long Island, New York
- Virgil Sadewasser; Libby, Montana
- Tierney Wienholz; Great Falls, Montana
- Ethan Yordsilp; Shreveport, Louisiana
This first class at the new location highlights some of the advantages MHP leaders identified when they moved their headquarters from Helena to Boulder last summer.
The campus – the former site of the Montana Developmental Center – includes more than 30 acres and a variety of buildings that were ready for use. Cadets have “combatives” self-defense training in the gymnasium, get their meals in the cafeteria, and stay in the former residential cottages.
“It’s helpful to get to live by the other cadets, so that after hours, if there’s studying that we need to do or physically training together to prepare, we have each other to help each other out,” said Tierney Wienholz, a cadet from Great Falls, about the months-long experience.