Gov. Beshear, Kentucky State Police Launch Youth Academy To Recruit Future Generations Of Officers

Innovative program focused on law enforcement career development skills


FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 22, 2024) - Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky State Police launched an innovative program focused on recruiting the future generation of law enforcement officers. The Youth Academy Program will provide young Kentuckians with an opportunity to interact with state police troopers and officers while learning leadership skills, physical fitness requirements and law enforcement principles.

“By investing in our young Kentuckians at an early age, they are able to make smart career decisions and find an educational path that is best suited to meet their goals,”  Gov. Andy Beshear said. “This creative approach to recruitment will increase our sworn personnel numbers and build a new Kentucky home for future generations.”

The inaugural Youth Academy Program is scheduled to be held July 22 – 26, 2024 at Trooper Island Camp located on Dale Hollow Lake, which is funding the pilot project.

"The Kentucky State Police Youth Academy Program offers an unparalleled opportunity for young adults to explore the world of law enforcement," said KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr.  "We are thrilled to provide a platform where those interested can gain invaluable insights and essential skills for a career in public service."

Applications for the Youth Academy Program are currently being accepted for Kentuckians who are 16 – 17 years old. The deadline to apply is June 10. For additional details on the Youth Academy Program, including eligibility criteria and the application process, please visit

Throughout the weeklong program, participants will engage in a diverse array of activities and instruction, including:

  • Exploration of core values and ethics fundamental to law enforcement.
  • Team building exercises to cultivate collaboration and camaraderie.
  • Hands-on demonstrations from the KSP Crime Lab to understand forensic techniques.
  • Insight into commercial vehicle enforcement procedures and techniques.
  • Introduction to criminal investigations and crime scene analysis.

"This program aims not only to educate but also to inspire and empower the next generation of law enforcement professionals," added Trooper Island Camp Commander Jonathan Biven. "As an agency, we are always looking at innovative ways to improve recruitment and retention. While new to KSP, this type of program is a proven, effective project that has shown great success with law enforcement agencies across the country."

According to the National COPS Office website, youth law enforcement academies are proven effective and play a significant role in recruiting new officers while providing training and understanding of critical topics.

KSP is committed to maintaining and strengthening its workforce to enhance public safety, maintain critical services and better reflect the diverse communities it serves. Troopers serve on the front lines daily by responding to calls for service and interacting directly with their communities to ensure safety and security for all. Individuals who are ready to serve mankind, safeguard lives and property, assist their fellow brothers and sisters in law enforcement and reduce crime are encouraged to apply to wear the sacred badge of honor.

The Beshear-Coleman administration believes every single Kentuckian has the right to feel safe in their community, workplaces and schools, and the Governor has taken steps to increase public safety. In the last two years, his administration has secured a historic more than $18,000 pay increase for Kentucky State Police troopers and officers. Due to these increases and the tireless efforts from the KSP recruitment branch, more than 1,000 sworn personnel are now wearing the badge of honor, the highest number since 2017.

Gov. Beshear has also supported training for local law enforcement officers by raising the current training stipend to an all-time high, and the state supported the construction of a new training facility in Richmond.

Since taking office, Gov. Beshear has awarded nearly $10 million in grant funding to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in purchasing the tools and resources that will not only allow them to protect Kentucky communities but will also ensure their safety as they stand on the front lines every day.

Last year, Gov. Beshear signed House Bill 380 expanding the eligibility of potential peace officers to include individuals who are not yet 21 years of age but will reach this statutory requirement by the time certification is completed to help law enforcement agencies expand their workforce. 

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