AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today commissioned 51 men and women as Highway Patrol troopers during the recruit school graduation ceremony in Austin. The new troopers will report to duty stations across Texas in the coming weeks and spend the first six months in on-the-job training.

“You are now part of one of the premier law enforcement organizations in the country,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Your expertise is in great demand, especially as Texas deals with Mexican drug cartels, their gang counterparts and other criminal threats. Your greatest asset is your integrity; remember that, and you will do great things for the people of Texas.”

Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson of Houston, chair of the House Local and Consent Calendars Committee and co-chair of the Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking, was the keynote speaker during the graduation ceremony held at the LBJ Library and Museum Auditorium on the University of Texas campus.

“I congratulate the 2012 graduating class of the Texas Department of Public Safety,” said Rep. Thompson.  “You have persevered because of your desire to be a member of one of the most elite, well-trained, prestigious law enforcement organizations and by your desire to serve and protect the people of Texas. I thank you for the bravery and sacrifice this job will require and for your commitment to making Texas a safer place to live and visit.”

The troopers began the 21-week training academy in January. Instruction covered more than 100 subjects, including counter-terrorism, traffic and criminal law, arrest and control procedures, accident reconstruction, first aid and Spanish. They also received training in use of force, communication skills, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, cultural diversity and physical fitness.

Anyone interested in becoming a state trooper can call the toll-free line, 1-866-TXTROOP (898-7667), or visit the DPS website,, for more information.