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New troopers are assigned to southwest region

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DICKINSON - Following 24 weeks of academic training, troopers Eric Hassebrock and Troy Roth were recently assigned to North Dakota Highway Patrol's Southwest Region.

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Following 24 weeks of academic training, troopers Eric Hassebrock and Troy Roth were recently assigned to North Dakota Highway Patrol's Southwest Region.

Hassebrock is stationed in Bowman. This position opened Feb. 1 as a result of Trooper Joshua Anderson's transfer to Minot.

"I'm enjoying Bowman a lot right now," Hassebrock said. "It's a very nice community. Everybody down there has been very nice and very receptive."

Hassebrock began his field training on Feb. 11. Capt. Anthony Huck said field training lasts up to eight weeks. For the first three days of field training, troopers ride along with a supervisor and observe. After three days, it is the supervisor who observes the new troopers. Chris Messer is supervising Hassebrock's training.

"It's nice to be able to apply all the knowledge I got at the academy," Hassebrock said.

Hassebrock received a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from North Dakota State University.

"I was pretty sure I was going to apply for patrol and I figured that would be the best degree to have," Hassebrock said. "It always seemed like an admirable profession."

Hassebrock feels his degree has been helpful in pursuing his career as a trooper.

Prior to enrolling in the Highway Patrol Academy, Hassebrock worked as a guard at Mandan's Youth Correctional Center for about five months.

Although troopers are placed on a year-long probation following enrollment into the academy, Hassebrock hopes to eventually transfer to a location closer to his wife in Fargo.

Roth is stationed in Beach, the position being open since July 2007 when Trooper Harley Steffen retired.

"Out of the eight positions that were open, it was my first choice," Roth said.

Sgt. William Vance is supervising Roth's field training, which began on Feb. 13.

Roth is originally from New Leipzig, but has lived in Bismarck for over eight years. He is currently in the process of moving to Beach.

Roth received a Bachelor of Science degree with a Master of Science in human performance from Oregon State University.

Before enrolling in the academy, Roth held a position in cardiac rehab.

"I was an exercise physiologist," Roth said.

He pursued a career in law enforcement because he needed a change.

"I wanted to find something that was totally different from what I was doing, but I still wanted to help people," Roth said. "It's been a good change so far."

Roth believes his previous experience helps in his new career.

"I think the customer service aspects of my last job are going to help," Roth said.

The Highway Patrol seemed more appealing to Roth than other law enforcement positions because he felt it offered the most autonomy.

"I just thought that I would like working on my own more," Roth said. "I like the independence, and yet we're still a close group."

Roth said his wife plans to stay in Bismarck for now, where she works as a nurse.

"We'll do a lot of commuting," Roth said.

Although he is still a little short handed due to the field training the troopers are participating in, Huck said he is happy the positions have been filled.

"They did really well at the academy. They were one of the highest classes," Huck said. "We're glad to have them out here to help fill the vacancies."

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