Captain Monica Alexander
Government and Media Relations
(360) 596-4010 – office
(360) 596-4015 – fax

*** For Immediate Release***

Date: Month 08, 2015
Contact: Trooper Will Finn
Phone: (360) 449-7960
Cell: (360) 827-2036
Twitter: @wspd5pio

New and Experienced Troopers Come to Southwest Washington

Southwest Washington -- On November 19, 2015, the Washington State Patrol held a graduation ceremony in the Rotunda of the Legislative Building in Olympia. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the WSP had 25 new troopers! Not only will the new troopers be placed around the state, some senior troopers have also shifted to new areas.

Before graduating new troopers, the WSP goes through a transfer process of current troopers. Many troopers transfer to other areas of the state to be closer to family, a change of pace or career advancement opportunities. District Five, located in Southwest Washington received three transfers and two new troopers from the graduating class in November.

Trooper Tyler Preston and Trooper Christopher Merwin transferred from the Naselle Detachment in Pacific County to Cowlitz County. Trooper Preston graduated from the 104th Trooper Basic class in March and Trooper Merwin has been with the department nearly 6 years. Trooper Merwin is excited to be closer to family and is a Kalama High School graduate. Trooper Preston, a Vancouver native, is looking forward to working the Interstate 5 corridor and being closer to home.

The Lewis County area will see one new trooper and one transfer. Trooper Jeffery Wallace, a Southwest Washington native who graduated from Mt. View High School in Vancouver, is thrilled to be back in District Five. Trooper Wallace spent time in the district as a Trooper Cadet in 2014. During this time, he worked closely with the WSP's commercial vehicle division performing school bus inspections. "It was great to see another side of the patrol," Wallace said. "The experience I had with commercial vehicles will benefit me greatly as a trooper."

Lewis County will also see the return of Trooper Jacob Payne. Trooper Payne transferred from the Yakima area to be closer to family. "I am looking forward to becoming active in this community again," Payne said. Trooper Payne is a graduate of Centralia High School and Centralia Community College.

The Goldendale area will also see a new face. Trooper Dean Gallanger is coming to the area from the graduating class and is a native of Yakima. Trooper Gallanger is hoping to make a difference by removing impaired drivers from roadways and expanding his knowledge of the area.