Wisconsin State Patrol welcomes 42 new members

By Brandi Makuski

The Wisconsin State Patrol swore 42 new recruits into duty on July 30.

The 42 new officers—and WSP’s 66th class—recently completed 26 weeks of comprehensive training. The courses covered traffic and criminal laws, emergency vehicle operations, firearms proficiency, communications, crisis management, and lifesaving skills.

Gov. Tony Evers spoke during the ceremony to offer his congratulations and thanks.

“From responding to emergencies on the road to promoting safe driving practices to building relationships with the communities they serve, the State Patrol does important work to keep Wisconsinites and visitors safe as they travel across our state,” Evers said.

State Patrol officers serve in a variety of roles, including crash reconstruction experts, airplane and drone pilots, dignitary protection, K-9, and motorcycle officers.

State Patrol Superintendent Anthony Burrell oversees nearly 500 sworn officers across the state.

“It takes a unique individual to dedicate themselves to serving others, to complete such a rigorous course of preparation, and to put themselves in harm’s way to keep others safe,” Burrell said.

State Patrol officers play a crucial role in protecting the public. They support highway safety by enforcing traffic laws, responding to incidents, helping stranded drivers, inspecting commercial motor vehicles, and working to combat illegal drugs and human trafficking.

Despite a decrease in traffic on the roads during the pandemic, Wisconsin, like many other states, has seen an increase in dangerous driving behavior and crashes in the past year-and-a-half, according to Wisconsin Department of Transportation data.

Last year, Wisconsin State Patrol officers made more than 166,000 traffic stops, provided help to more than 33,000 drivers, and inspected almost 28,000 commercial motor vehicles.

After graduating from the State Patrol Academy at Ft. McCoy, new officers are assigned to one of the State Patrol’s seven regional posts.

Of the 42 recruits, one hails from Portage Co. Darren M. Reid, from Stevens Point, has been assigned to Outagamie Co.

The State Patrol’s next recruit class starts training in January 2022. Learn more about State Patrol career opportunities on the WisDOT website.