A Division Of The
Department of Public Safety
Public Information and Education Division - PO Box 568 - Jefferson City, MO 65102

For further information please contact: Capt. John J. Hotz
(573) 526-6115

December 22, 2023

EMPHASIS: 25 New Troopers Graduate From Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy

Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, announces that 25 troopers graduated from the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy on Friday, December 22, 2023. The ceremony took place at 10 a.m. in the Academy gymnasium, 1510 East Elm Street, Jefferson City, MO. The graduation ceremony was live streamed on the Patrol’s Facebook page. The 118th Recruit Class reported to the Academy on July 3, 2023. The new troopers will report to duty in their assigned troops on January 8, 2024.

The Honorable Mike Kehoe, lieutenant governor of Missouri, provided the keynote address. Mr. John Whetsel, retired Sheriff of Oklahoma County, OK and retired Chief of Police of Choctaw, OK and Colonel Eric T. Olson addressed the class during the graduation. The Honorable Robin Ransom, Supreme Court of Missouri, administered the Oath of Office to the new troopers. The Troop F Color Guard presented the colors, and the 135th Army Band, Missouri Army National Guard, performed the national anthem. Pastor Delbert Hampton, Unity Baptist Church, Fulton, MO, provided the invocation and benediction.

The recruits accumulated points toward graduation throughout their 25 weeks at the Academy. The person with the highest number of points in the categories of academics, firearms, and physical fitness earned the respective award.

The following awards were presented during the graduation ceremony:

Academics Award ― Trooper Dustin Willhite

Firearms Award ― Trooper Jackson Collier

Physical Fitness Award ― Trooper Hunter Hampton

Superintendent's Award ― Trooper Hunter Hampton

The names (hometowns) and first assignments of members of the 118th Recruit Class are listed below:

Troop A
Trooper Klayton R. Kennedy, Plattsburg, MO, Platte County
Trooper Corey W. Klotz, Nevada, MO, Bates County
Trooper Connor W. Norris, Kearney, MO, Clay County

Troop B
Trooper Kristopher B. Geren, Fowler, IL, Marion/Ralls Counties
Trooper Tristen C. Miller, Shelby, MO, Linn/Chariton Counties

Troop C
Trooper Dalon J. Brown, Hazelwood, MO, North St. Louis County
Trooper Jackson S. Collier, Farmington, MO, Ste. Genevieve/Perry Counties
Trooper Brian J. Fessenden, Palmyra, MO, South St. Louis County
Trooper Justin D. Hedrick, St. Charles, MO, South St. Louis County
Trooper Dallas R. McKenzie, Quincy, IL, St. Charles County
Trooper Roan Oosthuizen, Grapevine, TX, St. Charles County
Trooper Edgar J. Raya, St. Louis, MO, South St. Louis County
Trooper Ethan G. Talleur, St. Clair, MO, Franklin County
Trooper Mason K. Wilson, Seneca, MO, St. Charles County

Troop E
Trooper Brady T. Hart, Puxico, MO, Butler/Ripley Counties
Trooper Gunner L.R. Meloy, Marble Hill, MO, Butler/Ripley Counties

Troop F
Trooper Ryan C. Byers, Joplin, MO, Morgan/Moniteau Counties
Trooper Hunter W. Hampton, Fulton, MO, Cole County
Trooper Jonathan E. Pinker, Overland Park, KS, Camden/Miller Counties
Trooper Bailey D. Whetsel, Jones, OK, Cole County

Troop G
Trooper Chad K. Johnson, Seymour, MO, Texas/Wright Counties

Troop H
Trooper Robert K. Mott, Mt. Pulaski, IL, Holt/Atchison Counties

Troop I
Trooper Aaron M. Cunningham, Rolla, MO, Crawford County
Trooper Kolby J. Estes, Warsaw, MO, Phelps/Maries Counties
Trooper Dustin R. Willhite, Hartville, MO, Laclede County