Troopers graduate from Minnesota State Patrol’s first “Experienced Officer” academy

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:38 PM CDT
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CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Twelve new troopers graduated Friday from the Minnesota State Patrol’s first Experienced Traffic Safety Officer Academy. The class included cadets from Bemidji, Underwood, Park Rapids, and Remer.

All of the cadets have at least two years of full-time experience as a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, which means training was shortened from 14 weeks to 10 weeks.

The training at Camp Ripley included motor vehicle crash investigation, traffic law, emergency vehicle operations, scenario-based de-escalation, communication, and mental health crisis training and defensive tactics.

They will now be trained with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension before starting field training with another trooper. Their solo patrols begin on June 21.

Interesting facts about a few of the cadets:

  • Seth Kuhn, a former Hubbard County sergeant, ran half a mile to a neighbor’s house for help after a tree fell on his dad. He was just 5 years old at the time. His actions saved his dad’s life.
  • Alex Tokar, a former Mille Lacs County sergeant, delivered a baby while on duty and held it until paramedics arrived.
  • Darin Vossen, a former St. Cloud police officer, competes in Olympic weight lifting. In 2022, he won a national championship and a world championship while setting national records in the snatch and clean and jerk lifts for his division.