Twenty-three high school students from around the state are learning about life as a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper this week.
The Youth Trooper Academy is being held at the Mickelson Law Enforcement Training Center in Pierre. It is sponsored by the Highway Patrol and the South Dakota American Legion. This is the ninth year for the event, which was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Ashton Gabriel of Madison is one of the high school students participating in classroom and hands-on training in areas such as firearms safety, defensive driving, crash investigation, traffic stops, leadership and citizenship.
Colonel Rick Miller, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, said that this is a chance for students who have ever thought about joining law enforcement to experience it first hand.
Academy participants were selected by representatives from the Highway Patrol and American Legion. Most of those chosen are high school juniors or seniors. Academy activities began on Monday and will end with a graduation ceremony on Friday.