OSAGE | Heather Keech, a St. Ansgar native, was one of three women who graduated from the Iowa State Patrol Academy this month.
“As a child I kind of wanted to do this, mostly because my dad and brother were in the military and I wanted to serve the public,” Keech said.
Since graduating from the academy, Keech is now completing her on-the-job training with the Iowa State Patrol.
“What got me interested in becoming a trooper was after I attended a criminal justice seminar in Chicago, when I was at NIACC,” Keech said. “That was what got me excited about it."
In October 2017, Keech began the lengthy application process which involved physical testing, a written exam, psychological evaluation and interview with the Iowa Department of Public Safety and an extensive background check.
She began her training at the Iowa State Patrol Basic Academy, located at Camp Dodge in Johnston, on July 2.
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The training included classroom learning and traffic investigative measures, as well as training for firearms, driving, emergency medicine and physical aspects.
“They taught us a little bit about everything, because they don’t want you to be surprised,” Keech said.
Over the next 70 working days, Keech starts her infield training, where she will be riding with state troopers from the Eighth District, which is headquartered in Mason City.
Upon completion of her infield training, she will be assigned a vehicle and will serve an eight-county district in North Iowa.
“I will be assigned to live in Mitchell County, but my post will be in Mason City,” Keech said.