Fifty-seven men and women became Texas Highway Patrol troopers this morning after reciting the state’s law enforcement oath and receiving their badges during a ceremony in Austin.

Texas State Representative Larry Phillips, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, was the keynote speaker during the graduation ceremony held at the LBJ Library Auditorium on the University of Texas campus.

“I congratulate the fine men and women who are graduating today and becoming Texas Highway Patrol Troopers. You have agreed to protect and defend the people of Texas, and we appreciate your service,” he told the graduates.

“Every day of the year, and every minute of the hour there is a Texas State Trooper combating crime and terrorism throughout this great state, and when you leave here today you will be joining them on the frontline of this important battle,” said Colonel Steven C. McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The troopers began the 18-week training academy in August. Instruction covered more than 100 subjects, including counter-terrorism, traffic and criminal law, arrest and control procedures, accident reconstruction, first aid and Spanish. They also received extensive use of force, communication skills, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, cultural diversity and physical fitness training. In several weeks, the troopers will move to their new duty stations. They will spend the first six months in on-the-job training with a senior trooper.

Anyone interested in becoming a state trooper can call the toll-free line, 1-866-TXTROOP (898-7667), or visit the DPS Web site,, for more information.