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Minnesota State Patrol to welcome 35 new troopers

WHAT: The Minnesota State Patrol will swear in 35 new troopers during a graduation ceremony on Friday. The cadets with varying diverse backgrounds will take the oath following a successful completion of the Minnesota State Patrol’s 68th and 69th training academies.

The graduates include traditional and Experienced Traffic Safety Officer (ETSO) program and Law Enforcement Training Opportunity (LETO) program applicants. The LETO program offers the education and training to candidates who have a two- or four-year degree but no law enforcement experience.

Interesting facts about some of the cadets:

• Yahya Abdi spent the past six years as a stay-at-home farther. Prior to that, he worked as a child development specialist. He grew up in Somalia and fled the Somali civil war, trekking through multiple countries to get to safety. He is believed to be the first Somali-American Minnesota State Patrol trooper.

• Wai Lwin Aung worked as a lab processing assistant at Mayo Clinic during the day and cashier at a gas station at night. His father is a retired colonel with the Myanmar Air Force. He speaks three different languages.

• Catherine Barrie-Medellin spent the past seven years working for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. When giving birth to her now 5-year-old twins, doctors discovered she had cancer. After beating cancer she knew she could do anything she wanted, and that was to join the State Patrol.

• Gilberto Trevino moved back to Minnesota after working as a trooper for the Texas Department of Public Safety for the past couple of years. Both of his parents grew up in Mexico and Spanish is his first language.

• Anthony St. Clair Jr. is from the White Earth Nation. He’s worked as a police officer for the Moorhead Police Department and a highway safety officer for the White Earth Tribal Police Department.

• Moo Eh Moo was born in a Thailand refugee camp after his family was forced to flee Burma. He came to the United States in 2006, and speaks Karen.

• Ryan Geiser served as a military police officer in the Marine Corps. He worked traffic management and collision investigations while living in Japan.

Read the full list of graduates, including their home towns and assigned districts.

WHEN: Friday, April 19 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Please RSVP to for location details

WHO: Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan

Commissioner Bob Jacobson, Department of Public Safety

Interim Col. Christina Bogojevic, Minnesota State Patrol

Capt. Eric Barthel, Minnesota State Patrol

Catherine Barrie-Medellin, class speaker 68th

David Holmquist, class speaker 69th

WHY: Cadets in the State Patrol’s 68th graduating class are made up of traditional and LETO applicants. They began training at Camp Ripley on Jan. 14. The 69th graduating class, made up of law enforcement officers with traffic safety experience, started on Feb 11. Training included motor vehicle crash investigation, traffic law, emergency vehicle operations, scenario-based de-escalation, communication, and mental health crisis training and defensive tactics.

After graduation, cadets will attend additional training at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension before starting field training with another trooper. Following successful completion of field training, they will begin their solo patrols on July 24.


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