34 cadets graduated from the 63rd Minnesota State Patrol Training Academy


“Seven feet and three-quarters of an inch without shoes or boots,” said Kristian Jensen, one of the MN State Patrol’s newest soldiers.

They all have a story to tell, including Kristian Jensen, who started out in education and made her home in 10 different countries.

“I have always enjoyed working in service jobs and thought it would be a good service for the community I live in,” Jensen said.

On Friday, Jensen joined 33 other men and women to celebrate their graduation from the 63rd Minnesota State Patrol Training Academy. They come from all walks of life, but now these 34 Troopers are united in a common goal.

“We want to save lives, I want to save lives, make a difference,” said LeeTou Yang, one of the newest soldiers.

Like Yang, many of these men and women have absolutely no experience in law enforcement.

“I worked in retail for about 12 years,” Yang said.

They spoke of the rigorous training at Camp Ripley that helped them prepare for this moment.

“From sunrise to sunset, every day,” Yang said.

“It definitely tests your mental and physical skills, but it’s definitely worth it in the end,” Fitzgibbons said.

The 14 week course included all kinds of training including accident investigation, traffic law, emergency vehicle driving and scenario-based de-escalation training.

“I think each of us has had a different experience, but the common thread between us is that it was difficult,” said Jensen.

Friday’s graduation comes at a time when Lt. Gordon Shank admits it’s not as easy to hire.

“We’re not afraid that recruiting has its challenges right now, but we need soldiers and we need people to apply; we need people here to make a difference,” Shank said.

“If you want to go out and make a difference, go out and do it,” Yang said.

For more information on the State Patrol Law Enforcement Training Opportunity, click here.

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