The Missouri State Highway Patrol commissioned 34 new troopers June 27 in a ceremony on the south lawn of the Missouri State Capitol.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol commissioned 34 new troopers June 27 in a ceremony on the south lawn of the Missouri State Capitol.
Among the new troopers are three officers who have been assigned to the Troop I region, which covers Phelps, Maries, Pulaski, Crawford, Dent and Laclede counties.
They are as follows:
• Roberto A. Rizo, of Rolla, whose assigned region is Phelps/Maries counties,
• Gregory T. Hackett, of Springfield, Missouri, whose assigned region is Pulaski/Maries counties, and
• Grant A. Ayres, of Jefferson City, whose assigned region will be Crawford County.
Gov. Jay Nixon gave the keynote address during the graduation ceremony.
In his remarks, the governor congratulated the new troopers and also issued a charge.
Referencing President Thomas Jefferson's comments about Meriwether Lewis, Nixon encouraged the class to have, "undaunted courage, possessing a firmness and perseverance of purpose ..."
He expressed his respect for the patrol, saying the organization not only embraces its traditions, but also embraces diversity, and advancements in technology and equipment.
The governor said that the new troopers don't know what challenges they will meet each day, but that he has supreme confidence in the MSHP and that confidence now extends to each of them.
Col. Ron Replogle, MSHP superintendent, also spoke to the class, offering his congratulations and emphasizing the importance of their family's support throughout the rigorous 26 weeks of academy training.
He instructed the new troopers to always remember the patrol's core values — integrity, responsibility, respect, professionalism, compassion, resourcefulness, character and commitment.
The colonel reminded the troopers that they are ladies and gentlemen who enforce the law, and to treat others as they would want to be treated.
The Honorable Mary Rhodes Russell, Supreme Court of Missouri, administered the oath of office to the new troopers.
Pastor Jeff Hardy, First Baptist Church, of Kimberling City, gave the invocation and benediction.
The Troop F Color Guard presented and retired the colors, and Alexander J. Armstrong, son of Trooper Andrew A. Armstrong, Troop F, sang the national anthem.
Dean Gil Kennon, vice president of college affairs for Mineral Area College, was present to confer an associate of applied science degree to 13 of the new troopers based on their course work at the academy.
Four class awards also were presented. The recruits accumulated points toward graduation in the categories of physical fitness, firearms, and academics throughout their 26 weeks at the academy.
The person with the highest number of points in each category earned the respective award.
Trooper Gregory T. Hackett earned the physical fitness award.
Trooper Shaun P. Sprague earned the firearms award.
Trooper Keith D. Scruggs earned the academics award.
Trooper Jose Sanchez Jr. accepted the Superintendent's Award, which is presented to the person with the most points overall.
The 98th Recruit Class reported to the academy Jan. 2.
The new troopers will report for duty in their assigned troops July 14.