SD Highway Patrol recruits now on duty as troopers

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota now has 12 new Highway Patrol troopers.

KELOLAND News introduced you to Louie Plunkett back in January when he was a recruit.

Now, he’s a trooper.

“It’s a good feeling to finally be finished with the training and hit the road,” SD Highway Patrol Trooper Louie Plunkett said.

On Thursday, he and 11 others received their badges, cars, and equipment.

For safety reasons stemming from COVID-19 there’s one thing that was missing: a graduation ceremony.

It was supposed to be held in the Capitol Rotunda.

“Rest assured we will still have that for them in the future to honor all of the things that they’ve done. We’re proud of their accomplishments and all the training they went through and we’re excited for them,” SD Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller said.

“We’ll do graduation later, so it’s not like we’re missing out,” Plunkett said.

Even though the ceremony will be pushed to a later date, it doesn’t change what’s important right now.

“People are still out driving on the roadways and our mission is to make sure people are safe out there and that’s what the troopers are out there doing,” Col. Miller said.

“The biggest goal was to get out on my own and be able to work the road and that hasn’t changed,” Plunkett said.

The time slots for troopers to get their patrol vehicles were staggered so the agency could practice social distancing.

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