BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana State Police Academy cadets reported Sunday to begin five months of intense training. This is the first academy LSP has held since 2009.
Joshua Nations was one of 57 cadets to report to the training academy. His brother and father are troopers with Louisiana State Police and he is hoping to add his name to the list.
"It means the world, excited about it," said Nations. "I've been with DPS for almost eight years now. Ever since I got on with DPS, I had full anticipations of becoming a trooper, so excited it's finally here."
Nations and the other trooper hopefuls got a harsh dose of reality soon after arriving, as drill sergeants conducted abrupt roll calls until each cadet could respond as requested. Inside, Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of LSP, addressed the newest class wanting to make sure the men and women understand the journey before them is what he calls the ultimate honor to serve the public.
"This badge is so precious to me and you have to earn the right to wear it," said Edmonson. "It's not a right, it's a privilege and it's a privilege that the public allows us to wear it. I've never forgotten that."
Over the next five months, the State Police training facility will be home to Cadet Class 92. The academy will consist of countless hours of training and instruction, but those who have passed through before say the most important lesson learned will be the core values instilled in these future troopers.
"Leadership, professionalism of duty, of honor of selfless service, they've got to learn those types of things. More important than anything else is how you treat people and I want them to learn that class is how to treat people," Edmonson explained.
As for what it will take to be one of the 50 or so newest troopers, Josh said he might be making a few calls to dear old dad in the next several weeks.
"A few things here and there, they gave me some pointers, some advice. Fatherly and brotherly advice is always good," said Nations.
This State Police class will be the first of five straight approved and funded by the state. Edmonson added the cadets will be assigned to their respective troops around the state after the academy and ready to hit the streets as troopers within a year.