Georgia State Patrol Graduates its 102nd Trooper School

May 11, 2018

(FORSYTH) – The Georgia State Patrol graduated its 102nd Trooper School on Fri., May 11, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth. After 32 weeks of intense training, 39 new troopers will report to patrol posts throughout the state on Monday, June 18. Governor Nathan Deal was the keynote speaker. Additional remarks were given by Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Capt. Scott Woodell, Director of Training.  The Oath of Office was issued by Judge Brian Rickman of the Georgia Court of Appeals.

“There has been an increase in economic growth in Georgia and this success also affects public safety. As our trooper strength increases with each trooper school, the number of fatal crashes decreases,” states Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

Trooper Cadets spend 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks in field training. The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires that all peace officers receive a minimum of 400 hours of Basic Mandate Training. At the completion of Trooper School, these newly graduated trooper cadets received over 1,500 hours of training, including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other training.

During remarks to his fellow class members, class president, Tpr. Robert B. Godown, reflected on the brotherhood they had created over the past 32 weeks and that the sacrifice they made to become a trooper was well worth it.

Three of the graduates received special honors for top performance in various fields of study. The honorees were:

•   Highest Firearms Proficiency – Tpr. Erich M. Goen (Score: 299.2 out of 300)

•    Highest Driving Proficiency – Tpr. Jimmy B. James

•    Highest Academic Average – Tpr. Steven A. Harris (Score: 99.30 out of 100)

•    Top Gun – Tpr. Erich M. Goen

This year, Tpr. Steven A. Harris received the award for the highest academic average, 99.30. Customarily, the winner of this award would receive a scholarship towards a bachelor’s degree. However, Tpr. Harris has already received a master’s degree. Therefore, Tpr. Erich M. Goen, who scored the second highest academic average, 98.74, will receive a $1,000 scholarship towards a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Reinhardt University.

Additionally, the following graduates were recognized for their leadership:  Tpr. Kenneth M. Wilkerson, Vice President; Tpr. Deidra L. Stillwagoner, Secretary/Treasurer; Tpr. Deidra L. Stillwagoner, Pennant Bearer; Tpr. Barry Parker, Base Bearer; Tpr. Steven A. Harris, Chaplain; and Tpr. Brian C. Kynard, Jr., Sergeant-At-Arms.

Each commissioned trooper will report to his/her post on June 18, 2018. The new graduates are assigned to one of the 52 posts throughout the state.




Cory Andrews

Carnesville, GA

Post 6 – Gainesville

Jordan Buffington

Gillsville, GA

Post 6 – Gainesville

Stephen Capehart

Ringgold, GA

Post 5 – Dalton

Jon Champion

Savannah, GA

Post 42 – Rincon

Chadwick Clark

Commerce, GA

Post 6 – Gainesville

John Cook

Shellman, GA

Post 8 - Madison

Bradley Darsey

Ellijay, GA

Post 27 – Blue Ridge

Denzell Davis

Elko, GA

Post 15 – Perry

Joe Davis

Bonaire, GA

Post 15 – Perry

Marvin Frazier, II

Savannah, GA

Post 11 – Hinesville

Blake Gaddis

Demorest, GA

Post 32 – Athens

Jordan Ginnel

Auburn, GA

Post 32 – Athens

Robert Godown

Athens, GA

Post 32 – Athens

Erich Goen

Valdosta, GA

Post 31 – Valdosta

Steven Harris

Savannah, GA

Post 42 – Rincon

Jimmy James

Toccoa, GA

Post 6 – Gainesville

James Jeffery

Monroe, GA

Post 46 – Monroe

Olen Kuhr

Sharpsburg, GA

Post 24 – Newnan

Brian Kynard, Jr.

Acworth, GA

Post 3 – Cartersville

Erik Lawrence

Richmond Hill, GA

Post 42 – Rincon

Eric Lawton

Ocilla, GA

Post 13 – Tifton

Cervando Luviano

Buford, GA

Post 46 – Monroe

Marquvious Majors

Macon, GA

Post 44 – Forsyth

Marshall Moore

Columbus, GA

Post 34 – Manchester

Brandon Moses

Grovetown, GA

Post 33 – Milledgeville

Matthew R. Nelson

Richmond Hill, GA

Post 42 – Rincon

Keith Oliver, Sr.

Albany, GA

Post 40 – Albany

Barry Parker

Hampton, GA

Post 47 – Forest Park

Zachary Parker

Savannah, GA

Post 42 – Rincon

Logan Pryor

Griffin, GA

Post 1 – Griffin

Payton Riner

Garfield, GA

Post 19 – Swainsboro

Anthony Roberts, Jr.

Bowman, GA

Post 32 – Athens

Deidra Stillwagoner

Brunswick, GA

Post 23 – Brunswick

Samuel Trammell

Madison, GA

Post 46 – Monroe

Max Webb

Nashville, GA

Post 13 – Tifton

Kenneth Wilkerson

Lagrange, GA

Post 24 – Newnan

Ashley Williams

Thomaston, GA

Post 1 – Griffin

Anthony Wright

Columbus, GA

Post 49 – Motor Unit

Sean York

Enigma, GA

Post 40 – Albany

Individual trooper photos are available to the media via email request to


Contact Information: 
DPS Public Information Office - (404) 624-7597