For Immediate Release:

September 8, 2023

(FORSYTH, GA) – The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) graduated its 114th Trooper School Friday, September 8, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth. After 32 weeks of intense training, 37 new Troopers will report to one of 52 patrol posts around the state.

Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp delivered the graduation address and gave the Oath of Office. Additional remarks were provided by Lt. Colonel Billy Hitchens, Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS), and Captain Craig Singletary, Director of Training.

Trooper Cadets spend 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks training in the field. The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires all peace officers to receive a minimum of 408 hours of Basic Mandate Training. After completing Trooper School, the graduates have received more than 1,400 hours of training including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other trainings.

During remarks to his fellow class members Trooper Andy Benjamin, class president, reflected on the group’s journey through Trooper School. 

“The journey has not been easy, but it has been worthwhile. We sacrificed a lot by leaving our homes, families, and friends to join the elite ranks of the Georgia State Patrol,” said Benjamin. “Today we are proud, and we celebrate, but our journey is not over, it is truly just beginning as we are no longer Trooper Cadets, but new GSP Troopers.”  

In addition to Benjamin, other class officers include Robert Merrell, Vice President; Rebecca Crawford, Secretary; Devin Hunter, Chaplain; Justus Alicea, Sergeant-at-Arms; and David Nailor, Pennant Bearer.

Four graduates received special honors for top performance in various proficiencies. The honorees were:

  • Driving Proficiency – Douglas Hughes
  • Firearms Proficiency – Aaron Guillaume
  • Top Gun – Jacob Stansell
  • Highest Academic Average – Jacob Stansell

 Trooper Stansell who had a 98.07 academic average, received the CPL Chadwick LeCroy scholarship to use toward obtaining a degree from Reinhardt University. CPL Chadwick LeCroy, a GSP Trooper, was killed in the line of duty on December 27, 2010.

 Trooper Robert Merrell received the second annual Patrick Dupree Leadership Award which is presented to the cadet that showed leadership throughout the entire class, even though he/she was not the class president. Trooper Cadet Dupree passed away Thursday, September 8, 2022, after performing a training exercise along with other members of the 113th Trooper School at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.

Each commissioned Trooper will report to the following assigned post:


Trooper's Name


Assigned Post

Justus Alicea

Richmond County, GA

Post 25-Grovetown

Rachel Anderson

Houston County, GA

Post 15-Perry

Derrickal Bell

Mitchell County, GA

Post 48-Atlanta

Andy Benjamin Jr.

Evans County, GA

Post 16-Hazelhurst

James Byrne

Harris County, GA

Post 2-LaGrange

Jimmy Cenescar

Orange County, FL.

Post 9-Marietta

Levi Champion

Pickens County, GA

Post 3-Cartersville

Calvin Cobb

Tattnall County, GA

Post 18-Reidsville

Rebecca Crawford

Gwinnett County, GA

Post 6-Gainesville

Tyrique Fuller

Lee County, AL

Post 24-Newnan

Aaron Guillaume

Muscogee County, GA

Post -LaGrange

Karson Gunkle

Collier County, FL

Post 9-Marietta

Johnathan Hammond

Conecuh County, AL

Post 21-Sylvania

Russell Holman IV

Forsyth County, GA

Post 37-Cumming

Andrae' Holmes

Bibb County, GA

Post 44-Forsyth

Douglas Hughes Jr.

Forsyth County, GA

Post 32-Athens

Devin Hunter

Stevens County, GA

Post 07-Toccoa

Greer Huss

Orange County, FL.

Post 27-Blue Ridge

Jonathon King

Catoosa County, GA

Post 5-Dalton

Alfred McCoy

Bibb County, GA

Post 15-Perry

Levi McMurtry

Columbia County, GA

Post 25-Grovetown

Robert Merrell Jr.

Dooly County, GA

Post 44-Forsyth

Gunner Metcalf

Buncombe County, NC

Post 23-Brunswick

David Nailor

Shasta County, CA

Pos 31-Valdosta

Ignacio Orozco

Okeechobee, FL

Post 43-Calhoun

James O'Shields

Gordon County, GA

Post 05-Dalton

Timothy Robinson

Rockdale County, GA

Post 46-Monroe

Seth Romine

Pickens County, GA

Post 05-Dalton

Reggie Shepherd

Cook County, IL

Post 48-Atlanta

Tyreke Sims

Brooks County, GA

Post 10-Americus

William Smith IV

Lamar County, GA

Post 52-Hartwell

Jacob Stansell

Bulloch County, GA

Post 45-Statesboro

Donald Terry

Worth County, GA

Post 40-Albany

Gregory Terry

Gwinnett County, GA

Post 51-Gwinnett

James Trivigno Jr.

Wayne County, NY

Post 24-Newnan

Jerry Verrill Jr.

Suffolk County, MA

Post 21-Sylvania

Walter Wyatt Jr.

Lamar County, GA

Post 1-Griffin


DPS Public Information Office

(404) 624-7597