After serving over a decade with various police agencies in his hometown of Claiborne County, one police officer’s dream of becoming a state trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol has become a reality.
Governor Bill Haslam served as the keynote speaker for the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s recent graduation ceremony at the Hermitage Hills Baptist Church in Nashville. Good was one of 31 trooper cadets to earn their badges in the special ceremony. Commissioner Bill Gibbons and THP Colonel Tracy Trott also made remarks at the graduation. Captain Robert Bighem, who oversees the Training Division, served as Master of Ceremony.
The 31 new state troopers, also known as Cadet Class 716, took their oaths of office after completing 22 weeks of intense physical and classroom training at the THP Training Center.
“The trooper cadets graduating today were selected from more than one thousand applicants, and we are grateful they have chosen a career that puts service before self, joining a group of men and women who dedicate their lives to helping make Tennessee safer,” said Governor Bill Haslam.
“It is an incredible honor to be chosen to serve as a Tennessee State Trooper,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “These men and women are the best of the best chosen from more 1,000 applicants. Congratulations on this accomplishment, and represent well as one of Tennessee’s finest.”
As part of their community service, Cadet Class 716, whose motto is “For them, we will not fail.” The class participated in two blood drives with over 60 pints of blood donated, and also donated $1,100 for the American Cancer Society in honor of Lisa House.
The new graduates will now advance to a maximum of 10 weeks of field training. Goode has been assigned to Cocke County and reported for duty on Monday.
Goode was formerly a K-9 Officer and Tazewell Police Sergeant. In a bon voyage celebration with his co-workers at Tazewell City Hall, Goode was presented with a memory box featuring a photo of himself and his K-9 partner Neco, his badge and a thank you plaque for his service to the city.
The following week, just before leaving for Nashville, his friends, family members and former co-workers gathered together to celebrate the milestone in Goode’s life, reminiscing how his law enforcement career began and talking about how tough the weeks ahead would likely be as he left behind his wife of 11 years, Sherry, and their three daughters — Rylie 10, Aubrey, 3, and Harper, 17 months.
Goode has been in law enforcement since shortly after he graduated high school. His career in law enforcement began at the entry level in 2001, when he was hired as a correctional officer at the Claiborne County Jail. Goode says from that moment on, he knew he wanted to be a state trooper and he began planning what steps he needed to take to reach what he describes as his goal.
“It has been a lifelong dream,” said Goode. “I set that as the goal and began taking the necessary steps to make it happen.”
Goode left the jail in 2003 when he was accepted into the police academy, which he successfully completed and became a Claiborne County Resource Officer later that same year. Goode remained a resource officer for approximately one year before becoming a road officer in 2004. In 2005, Goode was promoted to the Claiborne County K-9 officer and remained with the county until 2006 when he began working for the Tazewell Police Department. In 2008, he was promoted to K-9 Officer and in 2010 he was made sergeant. Goode’s outstanding police work earned two awards in 2011 —he was named Regional DUI Officer of the Year and Regional Officer of the Year.
Although his resume thus far in his career was one to be proud of, the aspiring state trooper felt compelled to further his education while working full time and taking care of his family.
“I felt continuing my education was an important factor in becoming a state trooper,” explained Goode.
Graduating with honors, Goode received his criminal justice degree from Walter State Community College in 2015. Shortly afterward he applied with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and was accepted as a state trooper. Goode says he is excited at the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-302-9091 or on Twitter @ReinaDailyNews