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Minnesota State Patrol Graduates 50 New Troopers

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - In Mariucci Arena, garnished with maroon and gold, marched the 50 newest members of the Minnesota State Patrol.

The 56th training academy class had completed an arduous 16 weeks of law enforcement training and was sharply dressed in their new maroon uniforms.

On Tuesday afternoon, with family and friends showering a proud approval, the cadets stepped onto the stage for the long-awaited pinning of badges.

Some of those doing the pinning honors were cadets' mothers, fathers, wives and children.

However, for five of the new troopers, the badge pinning would mean carrying on a rich legacy of service. They are the sons, grandsons and even great-grandsons of Minnesota State Troopers.

"To be able to put my great-grandfather's badge on is a good honor for me," new trooper John Kubat said. "And to have my grandpa here to pin it on me is really special as well."

Kubat's new badge, No. 97, was the same badge number worn by his great-grandfather James McClellan back in 1936.

The lineage also shows in Dane Lazenberry, whose badge No. 140 was first pinned on his father, retired State Patrol Lt. Col. Dennis Lazenberry.

Kenny Dellwo's father is still an active trooper, as is Nathan Hodapp's mother, Capt. Lori Hodapp. But to make it even more special, Hodapp is getting badge No. 12, the same badge that was worn by both his State Trooper father and grandfather.

But it was a pure emotion that came with the pinning of Brett Stricker's badge No. 130.

"I wanted this my entire life and to have the honor of my dad pinning my badge on is very special," Stricker said.

It's special because of who wore the badge before him. It was his father Paul's State Patrol partner and friend, trooper Garrett Schloesser. Schloesser lost his battle to cancer.

"It's going to mean a lot to me to carry on that badge number with him having it," Paul Stricker said.

Fifty new and old badge numbers were all worn with pride and also worn as continuing proof of the rich legacy of public service.

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