Two area residents were part of the 61st Training Academy, which held graduation ceremonies April 11 for 22 new Minnesota State Patrol troopers.

They are Cody Boegeman of Apple Valley and Breidy Garcia of Inver Grove Heights.

Boegeman is an Army veteran and was a correctional officer.

Garcia was born in Honduras and worked as a community health worker for Hennepin County Medical Center.

The ceremony took place at Camp Ripley, and to maintain social distancing standards, the event was livestreamed for families of the cadets. The ceremony also highlighted the challenges law enforcement face during the COVID-19 pandemic now and in the future.

The Minnesota State Patrol’s core values — respect, integrity, courage, honor and excellence — were the focus of a ceremony.

Due to COVID-19 challenges, the 16-week course at Camp Ripley was condensed to 14 weeks, with cadets staying at Camp Ripley seven days a week in order to complete all the required training. The training consisted of numerous activities including: motor vehicle crash investigation, traffic law, emergency vehicle operations, firearms, defensive tactics and communication and scenario-based training.

The State Patrol will begin accepting applications for its next academy on June 1 for those with prior law enforcement experience or are or will be post eligible by that start of the academy.

The Law Enforcement Training Opportunity program provides candidates the educational requirements necessary to take the state’s peace officer licensing test. Upon completion of the LETO program, trooper trainees attend the academy with all other traditional applicants. All applicants must have at least a two-year degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited school.

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