Three locals graduate as Arkansas State Troopers

By: Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor

Friday, June 29 marked the end of a rigorous 21 weeks of academic, physical, mental, firearms and emergency vehicle operation training for three area men who graduated as Arkansas State Troopers. These young men were among an initial field of 436 applicants who were tested and interviewed before entering the training. Two of the troopers are from Sharp County and one is from Fulton County. The service was held at Arkansas State Capitol in the second-floor rotunda. The graduates were sworn under oath as Arkansas State Troopers by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who served as the keynote speaker. Major Roby Rhoads and Colonel Mike Hagar, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Public Safety, addressed the class. Corey Bates, a Highland High School graduate, is the fourth in his family to join the ranks of the Arkansas State Police. His uncle, Dowl Godwin was a trooper and well known driver’s license tester locally. Bate’s father and brother are both currently troopers working in Troop B, where Corey will join them. Bates is the son of Darren and Carrie Bates and the brother of Trooper Brady Bates. The second of Sharp County’s newest Arkansas State Troopers is also a Highland High School graduate. Eutah Russell is no stranger to law enforcement. He is the son of Sharp County Sheriff and former Highland Police Chief Shane Russell and the son-in-law- of Arkansas State Police Special Investigator Wendall Jines. Russell worked in the law enforcement capacity for the city of High-land before deciding to become a trooper. Russell is married to Marly Russell and is the son of Shane and Alanna Russell. From Fulton County, and a Salem High School graduate is the third of the area’s new troopers, Ethan Sanders. Sanders took the top honors in the class of 29 graduates with first place in Physical Fitness. Sanders is married to Skyla Sanders and is the son of Jennifer and Billy Jarrett. All three young men will be working in Troop B which covers Sharp, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Cleburne and White Counties and is head-quartered at Newport. The troopers will begin their out of the classroom training with seasoned Field Training Officers as they begin their careers for the Arkansas State Police. At the conclusion of the graduation, Arkansas State Police Director Colonel Mike Hagar offered this challenge: “I ask you guys to go out and be an Arkansas State Trooper. Make us proud and make your families proud. Put the citizens of Arkansas first and go be worthy of the calling that you’ve received.” The graduates received 1,100 hours of specialized instruction in the academy classrooms and through practical training exercises outside the classroom during the21 week course.

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