8 new state troopers join Toll Road Post

Indiana State Police troopers assigned to the Indiana Toll Road Post are, from left, Zachary McKenzie, Tyler Vermillion, Lawrence Joyner, Alvin Best Jr., George Youpel, Jordin Bilthuis, Michael Bumbaugh and Brandon Johnson.

BRISTOL — Eight new police academy graduates have been assigned to the Indiana State Police Toll Road Post, law enforcement officials announced Monday. 

Thirty-seven new troopers graduated Dec. 19 from the 79th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy after completing 25 weeks of intense training. The recruits completed over 1,100 hours of academic and hands-on training in criminal and traffic law, crash investigation, emergency vehicle operations, defensive tactics, firearms and other classes necessary for modern policing.

Eight of the troopers assigned to the Toll Road Post will begin more than three months of field training, working next to several different experienced field training officers. After successfully completing this phase, the troopers will be issued their own police cars and begin solo patrol on the Indiana Toll Road.

n Trooper Jordin Bilthuis graduated from Manteno High School in Manteno, Illinois, before attending Kankakee Community College in Kankakee, Illinois. Bilthuis will patrol the Indiana Toll Road primarily in Lake and Porter Counties.

n Trooper Lawrence Joyner graduated from Chicago Military Academy Bronzeville in Chicago. He went on to study criminal justice at Kennedy-King College in Chicago. Joyner will patrol the Indiana Toll Road primarily in Lake and Porter Counties.

n Trooper Alvin Best Jr. is a graduate of Portage High School in Portage. He studied criminal justice while attending Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Best will patrol the Indiana Toll Road primarily in Porter, LaPorte and St. Joseph Counties.

n Trooper Tyler Vermillion is a graduate of Plymouth High School in Plymouth. After graduating from high school, Vermillion served for five years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Vermillion will patrol the Indiana Toll Road primarily in Porter, LaPorte and St. Joseph Counties.

n Trooper George Youpel is a graduate of St. Rita High School in Chicago. He attended Trine University in Angola and graduated with a double major in criminal justice and psychology. Prior to joining the Indiana State Police he served with the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office for three years. Youpel will patrol the Indiana Toll Road primarily in LaGrange and Steuben counties.

n Trooper Michael Bumbaugh is a graduate of Wawasee High School in Syracuse. After graduating from high school, Bumbaugh served for four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Prior to joining the Indiana State Police, he was a member of the Syracuse Police Department for six years. Bumbaugh will patrol the Indiana Toll Road primarily in LaGrange and Steuben counties.

n Trooper Zachary McKenzie graduated from Dexter High School in Dexter, Michigan, before studying criminal justice at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. McKenzie will patrol the Indiana Toll Road primarily in LaGrange and Steuben counties.

n Trooper Brandon Johnson is a graduate of Warsaw High School in Warsaw. After graduating from high school, Johnson joined the Army National Guard. Johnson will patrol the Indiana Toll Road primarily in LaGrange and Steuben counties.

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