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By David Bales

MCI Officer, K-9210

[ FEATURE STORY ]

Trooper Tyler Alley, K-322

Technical Trooper Darrin

Littlepage, K-353

The path to become a trooper is a grueling process

that could take more than a year before ever arriving at

the academy. First, available positions are posted for

application, then the hiring process begins. Applicants take

a written exam, a polygraph test, are subject to a background

check, and are called in for an oral interview. If those are

in the applicant’s favor, a conditional offer of employment

will be made. A medical background check, physical

exams, and psychological interviews are completed prior

of the Field Training Officer Process

Lieutenant Michael O'Hara,

K-354

Photos courtesy of KHP

THE IMPORTANCE

to the final offer of employment and before reporting to the

Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy. The trainees

are required to complete a 23-week training program.

After graduation from the KHP Academy, troopers

are on a probationary status for one year. They also begin

77 working days of field training accompanied by a field

training officer (FTO). This time is imperative to guarantee

the most well-trained and professional law enforcement

officers are put on the road to serve the citizens of our state

and any visitors or travelers passing through.

Troopers should have at least two different FTOs

during this time. The values, tactics, and attitudes of the

FTO can be transferred to the trooper to help them enhance

the formal training received at the academy. This gives the

trainee time to practice and implement the best practices

for him or herself to interact with the public. Having

separate times with more than one FTO allows the trainee

invaluable opportunities as it allows the trainee to observe

different methods. One of the most vital components of

this process is having an FTO to make introductions with

local agencies and their department leaders. Many valuable

relationships can be formed during this time to allow a new

employee to meet others they could be working alongside

at any point during their work day.

Later in training, the roles change and the trainee

begins to do more and more of the work. This gives the

FTO time to help the trainee improve

upon any skills necessary to interact

with the public, complete reports,

make arrests, and to evaluate, correct,

or re-evaluate any mistakes the trainee

could be making.

For Tyler Alley (K-322), being

old enough to apply for a position as a

trooper for KHP could not come soon

enough! Tyler first saw KHP troopers

at the 2006 Kansas State Fair. From

the first time he saw them, Tyler

knew that is what he wanted to do

for a career. Tyler admired the neatly

pressed uniforms and campaign hat.

According to Tyler, he wanted to

work for the best agency in the state.

Tyler’s dreams became a reality on

July 6, 2016 when he arrived at the

KHP Academy as a member of Class

#56. Tyler was one of 43 recruits to

show up that day. Due to the rigorous

training process, only 34 class members made it to

graduation day on Dec. 8, 2016.

During his training at the academy, Tyler had the

chance to meet both of his FTOs: Technical Trooper Darrin

Littlepage (K-353) and Lieutenant Mike O’Hara (K-354).

Darrin was at the academy himself for FTO training and

Mike was one of the instructors for Class #56 who helped

teach the traffic stop portion of the academy.

Tyler had several fears during the FTO process. One

of those fears is shared with most every law enforcement

officer in the world. Tyler worried that he would not make

it home after each shift worked. Tyler holds himself to a

high standard as his other fear included not wanting to

disappoint or embarrass his FTOs. I am sure they both

appreciate that! Ultimately, Tyler was hoping for a FTO

For many years the Kansas Highway Patrol has claimed to be an elite law enforcement agency in the

state and among the top agencies in the nation. How does an agency achieve this accomplishment?

This is largely done through a stringent hiring process coupled with extensive, quality training.

experience that would set the framework for the way he

interacts with the community on a daily basis.

Tyler said there were a lot of eye-opening experiences

and mistakes he was able to learn from during the process.

Most notable learned, “If something feels out of place and

not right, it’s probably not right!” said Tyler. To him the

most valuable part of having a FTO was being able to ask

them any question, any time, no matter the question. He

appreciated the time, mentioning how well you can get to

know someone if you spend just one month in the same

car. Now, Tyler would like to be a FTO someday, and he

thinks the hardest part would be giving up control over

each situation and riding in the passenger seat.

Tyler is currently assigned to Labette County in Troop

H. Tyler has been married to his wife for seven years. Three

of those years they lived in Alaska where he served in the

United States Army. Tyler and his wife and two children

and two dogs. Tyler’s cousin is LT

J.L. Riedel (K-372), and he has

another cousin who works as a

Federal Marshal.

Tyler’s first FTO was Technical

Trooper Darrin Littlepage. Darrin

joined the KHP in January 2001 as

a member of Class #36. Darrin had

several influences in his life that

led him to be a trooper, including

his grandfather who served as an

officer for the Independence Kansas

Police Department, KHP Captain

Ed Boring (ret), and KHP Master

Trooper Lowell Scott (ret). Darrin

served under Ed while they were

both serving in the military. He is

thankful that Ed was a mentor to

him and encouraged him throughout

his career.

Darrin's

most

memorable

moment is his experience with

Lowell. When he was a teenager, he was headed to school

in the next town. He was running late, and he was going

faster than the posted speed. When he looked back and

saw the red light weaving in and out of traffic behind him,

he quickly pulled over.

Darrin said, “This was my first encounter with law

enforcement. As the trooper approached, I noticed how

professional he was as he walked up to my door, bent

down and said, ‘Son do you realize how fast you were

going?’ All I could say was, ‘pretty fast.’”

This trooper was Master Trooper Lowell Scott who

worked for the Kansas Highway Patrol. A few may not

remember him, but many know his son, Keith Scott

(K-316). Darrin explained “I will never forget Mr.

Scott. I remember it like it was yesterday. He was very

Trooper Tyler Alley receiving his pin during his

graduation ceremony.

Kansas Trooper

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15

Fall 2017

14

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Kansas Trooper

Fall 2017