Montana Highway Patrol commissions 12 new troopers

Posted at 2:12 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 15:12:01-05

The Montana Highway Patrol commissioned twelve new troopers on Friday at the 61st Advanced Academy Graduation ceremony.  

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox addressed the graduates at the event, which took place at the Radisson Colonial Hotel in Helena.

Fox emphasized the importance of integrity for those who serve the public.  

“Integrity is one of the most important characteristics that any individual can possess. You’ll face some of the greatest challenges of your life while wearing this uniform. But no matter what life throws at you, face it with integrity, as that is a true sign of leadership,” he said.

At the ceremony, four awards were presented:

  • Physical Fitness Award – Lucas Knaff: Awarded for exemplary standards during the physical fitness curriculum in the 61st MHP Academy.
  • The Michael Haynes Memorial Grant (End of Watch:  March 27, 2009) – Jessica Knaff: Awarded in loving memory of Trooper Michael W. Haynes – MHP 159 by his wife, Tawny Haynes Norton.
  • Academic Award – Wade Palen: Awarded for exemplary standards during the academic curriculum in the 61st MHP Academy.
  • Camp Commander Award – Wes Whitlatch: Awarded for exemplary standards and performance observed by the Camp Commanders in the 61st MHP Academy.

Members of the 61st academy class include:

  • Tyler DiGiovanna – Hometown: Sheridan;  Initial Station:  Billings
  • Mackenzie Gifford – Hometown: Great Falls; Initial Station: Roundup
  • Noah Heiller – Hometown: Sturgeon Lake (MN); Initial Station: Sidney
  • Jessica Knaff – Hometown:  Townsend; Initial Station: Lincoln
  • Lucas Knaff – Hometown:  Shepherd;  Initial Station: Billings
  • Billy Muñoz – Hometown:  Missoula; Initial Station:  Superior
  • Wade Palen – Hometown: Tucson (AZ); Initial Station: Columbus
  • Noah Pesola – Hometown: New York Mills (MN); Initial Station: Culbertson
  • Bryan Phipps – Hometown: Livingston; Initial Station: Billings
  • Eric Power – Hometown: Klamath Falls (OR); Initial Station: Sidney
  • Monte Richmond – Hometown: Kevin; Initial Station: Cut Bank
  • Wes Whitlatch – Hometown: Lolo; Initial Station: Superior