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June 19, 2009 (LITTLE ROCK) – Twenty-five high school students are one step closer to fulfilling their dreams and aspirations of someday possibly wearing the uniform of the Arkansas State Police. The students completed a one-week training regimen and graduated today from the Arkansas State Police Preparatory Trooper Academy. The group represents the fifth class to graduate in as many years. Colonel Winford E. Phillips, Director of the Arkansas State Police addressed the class today in ceremonies at State Police Headquarters and presented each student with their graduation certificate. The students participated in a one-week abbreviated course of studies and practical training exercises similar to those required of Arkansas State Police Recruits. The preparatory academy grew out of an idea to offer a public service education project designed to offer high school students interested in law enforcement careers the opportunity to experience a variety of job assignments associated with the Arkansas State Police. “While the program has always been about helping high school students explore the world of law enforcement and consider career opportunities that interested them, we had hopes this would become a recruiting tool that would lead to future troopers,” said Major Kathy Sparks, commander of the Arkansas State Police Administrative Services Division. “This year it was particularly rewarding when a student from our first class in 2005 applied to become a trooper by seeking to enroll in our 2009 troop school scheduled for later this summer,” Major Sparks said. Classes in traffic law, highway crash investigations, crime scene investigations, law enforcement ethics, patrol procedures, emergency vehicle driver training, and simulated firearms exercises were among the specialized programs presented to the students during the week-long preparatory academy. The students were housed in the State Police Training Academy barracks located in southwest Little Rock where they also received instruction in drill and ceremony procedures and participated in daily physical agility training. The graduates of the 2009 Preparatory Trooper Academy are: • Matthew Adams, Walnut Ridge, Black Rock High School • Kayla Alderman, Midway, Mountain Home High School • Amanda Barker, McCrory, McCrory High School • Kerry Boles, Ash Flat, Cordova (Tennessee) High School • James Booth, Little Rock, J. A. Fair High School • Bailee Christensen, Cabot, Cabot High School • Curt Cooper, Newport, Tuckerman High School • Misty Cox, Mountain Pine, Mountain Pine High School • Blake Davis, Maynard, Maynard High School • Craig Foreman, Mountain Home, Mountain Home High School • Dominic Harper, Little Rock, Parkview Arts & Magnet High School • Dillon Haynes, Cabot, Cabot High School • Brittany Johnson, North Little Rock, North Little Rock High School (East) • Michael Kennedy, Benton, Benton High School • Cody Looper, Benton, Benton High School • Clint McKewen, Ethel, DeWitt High School • Courtney Morrison, Hot Springs, Lakeside High School • Stephen Osborne, Cabot, Cabot High School • Bonita Reddix, North Little Rock, North Little Rock High School (West) • Antonio Ruiz, Mabelvale, J. A. Fair High School • Jacob Schroeder, Cabot, Cabot High School • Marcus Simpson, Newport, Newport High School • Kody Smith, Booneville, Booneville High School • Christopher Sparks, Arkadelphia, Arkadelphia High School • Obtavious Williams, Mabelvale, Mills High School Ten graduates were also recognized for competition in the categories of physical fitness, firearms skills, and most improved student. The awards were presented to: PHYSICAL FITNESS – • 3rd place (three students with the same scores) James Booth, Blake Davis and Obtavious Williams. • 2nd place (two students with the same scores) Craig Foreman and Curt Cooper. • 1st place Marcus Simpson FIREARMS TRAINING – • 3rd place Stephen Osborne • 2nd place Blake Davis • 1st place Dillon Haynes MOST IMPROVED STUDENT – • Antonio Ruiz