The Washington State Patrol (WSP) added 44 newly commissioned troopers to its ranks this week during the 116th Trooper Basic Training (TBTC) graduation ceremony held at the Capitol Rotunda.
This graduation included two local residents.
Viely Chum of Westport and Kyle Schaar of McCleary were part of the graduation.
The graduation marks the completion of more than 1,400 hours of training including classroom and practical exercises at the WSP Academy in Shelton. The training culminated with a coaching trip where the cadets worked alongside a field training officer.
The combined efforts of the 116th TBTC class resulted in 8,371 driver contacts, the removal of 599 impaired drivers on our roadways, 1,038 collision investigations, and 2,920 motorist assists during their two-month long coaching trip.
Chief John R. Batiste extended his gratitude to the graduates, as well as to their families for sacrificing time with their loved ones as they became WSP troopers.
“There has never been a more critical time in history, in this state…than now to have you join the ranks of this profession, and in particular, this organization,” Chief Batiste said during the graduation ceremonies. “The people are in need of your services. I am excited for you. I am thrilled for you.”
The new troopers were sworn in by Chief Justice Steven C. Gonzalez, leading to an eruption of applause and cheers from family, friends, and colleagues watching on.
The class will report to their new assignments across the state to begin new duties of keeping Washington State’s roadways safe.
“We’re suffering an all-time high in terms of fatality collisions that are occurring dating back to 2005,” Chief Batiste said. “You’re here to help us curb that trend in the right direction.”
Schaar will be stationed at the Hoquiam detachment as his first post. Chum will be stationed in Wenatchee.
Several members of the class were recognized by WSP Academy Captain Robert W. Sharpe for excelling in aspects of specific skills and abilities, including:
Schaar was noted as being named as the Core Values Award recipient among those graduating, as determined by the anonymous vote of the members of the class.
The award is chosen among classmates for who they felt best exemplified the training division’s core values of strong leadership, effective partnerships, professional excellence, acting with integrity and accountability, respecting and protecting individual rights, and earning the trust and confidence of the public.
Top Academic Award:
Presented to Trooper Christopher M. Gadd; this award recognizes the outstanding efforts of the cadet who attains the highest grade point average compiled more than 30 exams and quizzes.
Top Driving Award:
Presented to Trooper Reid E. Colburn; this award recognizes the highest level of proficiency with respect to driving skills, techniques, decision making, mindset, and the steady and constant improvement through each phase of drive training.
Top Firearms Award:
Presented to Trooper Kyle M.W. Nein; this award recognizes the highest level of proficiency with all weapons systems, marksmanship scores, sills, and demonstration of sound judgement during practical encounter scenarios.
Top Physical Fitness Award
Presented to Trooper Ernest L. Simpson; this award recognizes the highest level of drive and tenacity in physical fitness testing and training. The recipient of this award consistently performed at the top of the TBTC during physical training.
Top Control Tactics Award
Presented to Trooper Miguel A. Gomez Alfaro; this award recognizes the highest level of proficiency in control tactics techniques, to include self-defense, handcuffing, searching, and the use of force thought process.
Top Collision Investigation Award
Presented to Trooper Christopher M. Gadd; this award recognizes the highest level of proficiency regarding collision investigation, including mathematical computation, scene investigation, information and evidence gathering, report writing, and teamwork.
Top Communications Award
Presented to Trooper Vera O. Yudich; this award recognizes the highest level of efficiency of radio communications knowledge, based upon testing and practical exercises.
Top Overall Cadet Award
Presented to Trooper Joshua J. Kukes; this award recognizes the trooper cadet who demonstrated great courage to overcome obstacles, unwavering dedication to stay focused in reaching their goals and their ability to give 100 percent in every aspect of their training. Trooper Kukes demonstrated the necessary skills, abilities, and judgement to be an excellent trooper, and made the efforts to make continuous improvements.
Core Values Award
Presented to Trooper Kyle P. Schaar; the Core Values Award is determined by the anonymous vote of the members of the 116th TBTC, who chooses the classmate they feel best exemplified the training division’s core values of strong leadership, effective partnerships, professional excellence, acting with integrity and accountability, respecting and protecting individual rights, and earning the trust and confidence of the public.
The Core Values Award is sponsored by the WSP Memorial Foundation, and presented in honor of the most recent WSP trooper who gave their life in the line of duty. Today’s award was given in honor of Detective Eric T. Gunderson, who died in the line of duty on Sept. 26, 2021. The award was presented to Trooper Schaar by Trooper Gunderson’s wife, Kami Gunderson.
Below is a full list of the WSP 116th TBTC graduating class:
|1||Arnold II, Timothy W.||Monroe||Seattle|
|3||Broyles, Jeremy T.||Bellevue||Lakewood|
|4||Bugg, Austin L.||Bremerton||Kingston|
|5||Burge, Silas J.||Bremerton||Olympia|
|6||Calderone, Bret M.||Chehalis||Washougal|
|7||Cesar, Moise J.||Monroe||Shelton|
|8||Chum, Viely T.||Wenatchee||Westport|
|9||Colburn, Reid E.||Shelton||Port Orchard|
|10||Crum, Sarah E.||Bellevue||Tacoma|
|11||Drake, Nathaniel P.||Port Angeles||Port Angeles|
|12||Duran Santacruz, Ulices||Marysville||Mount Vernon|
|13||Flores, Devon R.||Ellensburg||Pasco|
|14||Gadd, Christopher M.||Marysville||West Richland|
|15||Gomez Alfaro, Miguel A.||Yakima||Pasco|
|16||Hildebrand, Anthony J.||Wenatchee||Yelm|
|18||Kinkead, Carter J.||Port Angeles||Camas|
|19||Knapp, Ryan C.||Marysville||Oak Harbor|
|20||Kukes, Joshua J.||Ellensburg||Ellensburg|
|21||LeBlanc, Mark A.||Tacoma||Olympia|
|22||Lokaal, Jerry O.||Hoquiam||Grapeview|
|23||Martinez, Marco A.||Bellevue||Puyallup|
|24||McQueen, Faith R.||Naselle||Vancouver|
|25||Miller, Blake A.||Ellensburg||Selah|
|27||Nein, Kyle M.W.||Vancouver||Vancouver|
|28||Nunez Canizalez, George A.||Bellevue||Auburn|
|29||O’Rourke, Colin W.||Bremerton||Port Orchard|
|30||Paulo, Darryl-Jay A.||Marysville||Seattle|
|31||Purdy Jr., Jason A.||Port Angeles||Olympia|
|32||Riley, Ty’Quan D.||Bellevue||Lacey|
|33||Sanchez, Anselmo A.||Wenatchee||Kennewick|
|34||Schaar, Kyle P.||Hoquiam||McCleary|
|35||Schneider, Blake K.||Wenatchee||Wenatchee|
|36||Simpson, Ernest L.||Kelso||Vancouver|
|37||Southard, Daniel T.||Forks||Spanaway|
|39||Tulloch, Bradley J.||Bellingham||Blaine|
|40||Tunstall, Jordan A.||Bellevue||Puyallup|
|41||Yanusevich, Michael J.||Monroe||Bonney Lake|
|42||Yohanes, Dawit A.||Ellensburg||Kent|
|43||Yudich, Vera O.||Marysville||Marysville|
|44||Ziegenfuss, Anthony A.W.||Marysville||Vancouver|