Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, announced 21 troopers graduated from the Patrol's Law Enforcement Academy today. Justin Morrison, of Springfield, and
Colby Townsend, of St. Louis, will report to Troop I, which is headquartered in Rolla.

The ceremony began at 10 a.m. in the Academy gymnasium and was streamed on Facebook Live. Attendance was by invitation only due to the coronavirus guidelines. The 109th Recruit Class reported to the Academy on January 6, 2020, to begin the 25-week training to become a trooper. The new troopers will report to duty in their assigned troops on July 13, 2020.

Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandra K. Karsten provided the keynote address and Col. Olson addressed the class. The Honorable Roy L. Richter, Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, administered the Oath of Office to the new troopers. Dean Roger K. McMillian, vice president of College Affairs for Mineral Area College, conferred an associate of applied science degree to 10 of the new troopers. Cpl. Andrew A. Armstrong, Q/TND, sang the national anthem. Trooper Jacob J. Smith, 109th Recruit Class chaplain, provided the invocation and benediction.

Four class awards were presented. The recruits accumulated points toward graduation in the categories of physical fitness, firearms and academics throughout their 25 weeks at the Academy. The person with the highest number of points in each category earned the respective award. Trooper Margarito Gallo Mejia accepted the Physical Fitness Award. Trooper Tanner L. Wallace accepted the Firearms Award. Trooper Tanner L. Wallace accepted the Academics Award. Trooper Colin E. Osborne accepted the Superintendent’s Award, which is presented to the person with the most points overall.

The names, hometowns and first assignments of members of the 109th Recruit Class 

Troop A
Jonathan R. Boydston* (Kansas City, MO), Zone 2, Platte County
Kevin M. Cox* (Peculiar, MO), Zone 11, Cass County
Margarito Gallo Mejia (Vail, IA), Zone 2, Platte County
Colin E. Osborne (Kirksville, MO), Zone 9, Lafayette County
Tanner L. Wallace (Ozark, MO), Zone 11, Cass County
Thomas J. Whitaker (Joplin, MO), Zone 12, Johnson County

Troop B
Caleb L. Hirner (New London, MO), Zone 3, Chariton/Linn Counties
Kurtis A. Hurley* (Center, MO), Zone 6, Clark/Scotland Counties

Troop C
Mark D. Benson* (Park Hills, MO), Zone 13, Jefferson County
Daniel M. Bochucinski (Plainfield, IL), Zone 19, Lincoln/Pike Counties
Zachary C. Crumley* (Benton, MO), Zone 11, Franklin County
Curtis L. Schilling* (Jackson, MO), Zone 8, St. Charles County
Ryan J. Steele (Arcadia, MO), Zone 10, Franklin County

Troop E
David L. Brawley* (Whitewater, MO), Zone 9, New Madrid/Pemiscot County
Joshua J. Schuenemeyer* (Jackson, MO), Zone 7, Scott/Mississippi/New Madrid Counties

Troop G
Kage W. Etherton* (Aurora, MO), Zone 4, North Howell/Shannon Counties
Jacob J. Smith (Winona, MO), Zone 3, North Howell/Shannon Counties

Troop H
Byron D. Hahn (Cameron, MO), Zone 3, Harrison/Gentry Counties
Aaron M. Mapel (St. Joseph, MO), Zone 2, Nodaway/Worth Counties

Troop I
Justin D. Morrison* (Springfield, MO), Zone 8, Laclede County
Colby B. Townsend (St. Louis, MO), Zone 3, Crawford County

* Candidates for an associate degree from Mineral Area College.