From Washington State Patrol news releases.
Troopers of the Washington State Patrol will likely look different to you. Starting today, December 14, 2012, troopers have been authorized to wear a specially designed badge to commemorate the historic graduation of the 100th Trooper Basic Training Class.
The thirty-seven trooper cadets graduating today at the Washington State Capitol Rotunda will also be wearing the new badge.
These graduates completed of 1,000 hours of training in order to graduate. Historically, only about four to six percent of applicants make the grade to become a Washington State Patrol Trooper.
“The 37 cadets graduating today endured a rigorous application process, extensive background investigation, and received the best training, unmatched anywhere else in the nation,” said Chief John Batiste. “Today, they will join the ranks of Washington’s finest, as troopers of the Washington State Patrol.”
Among the graduates is Mill Creek resident Jessica D. Saucerman. She has been assigned to serve from the State Patrol office in Bellingham.
Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the purchase and wearing of the badge for all commissioned personnel for a year.
“Graduating our 100th class of troopers is an amazing milestone,” Batiste said. “In the entire history of our agency, only about 3000 people have ever served as troopers. This badge is intended to honor every one of them.”
The badge was designed by WSP trooper Eric Handley who wanted to incorporate the history of the agency, the blue and gold uniform colors, as well as WSP’s motto: “Service With Humility.” Handley’s neice, Mychal Handley, an Evergreen State College student, assisted in the concept of the badge using her graphic design talent. The design was sent to C.W. Neilsen in Chehalis who manufactured the special badge for the WSP.
The last time a different badge, other than the traditional one, was authorized to wear by troopers was in 2003 when a special commemorative badge was designed to celebrate Washington State’s 150th anniversary of becoming a territory.
The next time you see a trooper, ask to see their specially designed badge.