INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 23, 2014) - Becoming a state police officer isn’t easy.
For the last six months, we’ve followed the progress of dozens of recruits, through rigorous and intense training.
Now they’ve finally made it through as graduates, and Tuesday night, 42 police recruits were given the oath of office at the Statehouse, to become Indiana’s newest state police officers.
“I never thought this day would come and it truly is a blessing to be standing here,” said graduate Samuel Gillespie.
But it comes at a time when being a police officer is seemingly more dangerous than ever- after recent events in Ferguson and New York City.
Gillespie knows- his grandfather was a state trooper and died in a line of duty accident in 1962.
These days, it’s a whole new world.
“Especially with everything going on in Ferguson and New York right now you have to keep your head on a swivel, especially in this profession,” said Gillespie.
Kaitlyn Greene knows too- her mother is also with the state police- and now they’re the first mother-daughter duo in Indiana State Police history.
“It’s a very proud moment and I’m hoping to make her proud,” said Greene.
“I have lots of concerns, any mother would,” said Greene’s mother, Sherri Heichelbech. “And if someone would say they wouldn’t, I don’t think they’re being completely honest.”
“I admired what she did and as I got older that was who I wanted to become,” said Greene. “I wanted to be that role model.”
“I think she’ll have a very calming effect if she’s at a scene with a lot of chaos with her personality and confidence, I think she’ll help calm down scenes and right now with our society I think we need officers that have that mentality,” said Heichelbech.
“I just want to get out there and be the best trooper I can,” said Gillespie. “If I can change one life over my career then I consider that a success.”
Tuesday’s graduates will now report to one of the 14 posts across the state to work with field training officers. After about three more months of training, they’ll be issued their own vehicles to go out on solo patrol.