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For More Information Contact:
Capt. David Jude
(502) 782-1780

Kentucky State Police Recognize First Graduates
From Spanish Language Program

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) - Graduation ceremonies were held today in Frankfort, Kentucky for the first Kentucky State Police Spanish Language Immersion Program. Representing a cross section of Kentucky State Police personnel from around the state, the graduates included one sergeant, six troopers, six detectives, two dispatchers, two Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officers and one academy instructor.

"This is a promising first step toward better serving Kentucky's growing Hispanic population," said Governor Paul Patton, who joined Kentucky State Police Commissioner Ishmon Burks in congratulating the graduates and presenting their certificates of completion. "With an increasing number of Spanish-speaking visitors and residents in the state, public servants must be able to communicate clearly in order to provide effective service," Patton explained. "The result will be better service and protection for all Kentuckians."

The intensified training course is an immersion style format taught by the Kentucky Institute for International Studies. It met daily and concentrated approximately 200 hours of Spanish language and culture studies into a 13-week period. Eligible participants received 12 college credit hours from Murray State University. Graduates of the program achieve different levels of proficiency, but all are conversational and can read Spanish.

"This immersion program is an excellent example of learning both the language and the culture of the Hispanic community," Patton noted. "The result is better service and protection for all Kentuckians. When one segment of the community benefits, we all, in turn, share in the results."

Commissioner Burks emphasized that the program directly contributes to achieving the challenges faced by the Kentucky State Police in the 21st century. "Census data indicates that Kentucky's Hispanic population increased 172 percent between 1990 and 2000," he said. "To be effective, we must reach out to listen and learn."

"The first principle of law enforcement is to establish trust between the officer and the citizen," Burks explained. "To achieve this, mutual understanding is required. From our troopers to our telecommunicators to our support personnel, we must strive to reach this understanding through an open conversation with the Hispanic community. This program, and the others that will follow around the state, will help the Kentucky State Police achieve this goal."

Graduates recognized at the ceremony include:

Sergeant Dwayne Depp (KSP Academy-Frankfort)
Trooper Mike Romagnoli (Elizabethtown Post)
Trooper Shane Bates (Campbellsburg Post)
Trooper Marshall Johnson (Frankfort Post)
Trooper Rugina Lunce (Columbia Post)
Trooper Rhonda Wood-Willoby (Central Lab-Frankfort)
Trooper Steve Long (Special Response Team)
Detective David Jude (Dry Ridge Post)
Detective Timothy Simpson (Drug Control Enforcement)
Detective Bill Fleischer (Drug Control Enforcement)
Detective Kathryn Felice (Drug Control Enforcement)
Detective Stuart Adams (Drug Control Enforcement)
Officer Tim Gilbert (Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement)
Officer Nathan Olin (Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement)
Dispatcher Sharon Cramer (Frankfort Post)
Dispatcher Patricia Conway (Headquarters Radio-Frankfort)
Mike Spellacy (Richmond Post-Arson)
John Kibler (KSP Academy-Frankfort)

Contact Information for the Kentucky State Police

Kentucky State Police
919 Versailles Road | Frankfort, KY 40601

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