Three generations of Alabama state troopers present at graduation

October 02 2021 06:00 pm

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAIT) — You can expect to see more state troopers on the roads soon.

On Thursday, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency graduated 32 troopers. One of those troopers is Pate Nelson, who comes from a long line of state troopers.

“My great grandfather was an Alabama state trooper, my grandfather and my father is currently a state trooper,” Nelson said.

Nelson’s father, Tracy, attended the graduation ceremony to see him follow in his footsteps.

“He’s witnessed me and my friends and all of our family being in law enforcement so naturally I think it just became something that he wanted to do,” Tracy said.

Also in attendance was Pate’s grandfather, Doug, a retired state trooper captain.  

“I’m extremely proud of pate and I’m proud of my son, too. His grandfather and I were all captains. Pate, we hope one day, will be a captain,” Doug said.

During the ceremony, Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall shared with graduates the good, bad and ugly of being in law enforcement.

“One of the unique things about law enforcement and hopefully one of their driving factors, not why they do it, but you are given a chance to have a legacy,” Marshall said.

Although 32 graduates will walk out as troopers ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said recruiting is still a challenge.

“About 3.5 percent unemployment affects everyone, we have great benefits and we have a great agency,” Taylor said.

The secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said his goal is to get 550 troopers on the highway by the end of 2020.

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