April 10, 2015
Justice Kennedy Gives Keynote at State Highway Patrol Graduation

Image of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy along with members of the 154th Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy Cadet Class

Members of the 154th Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy Cadet Class pose for a class photo before their graduation ceremony on April 10, 2015. Seated front row, left to right: Captain Shawn T. Lee, Commandant, Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy; Honorable Peter B. Abele, Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals; John Born, Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety; Colonel Paul A. Pride, Superintendent, Ohio State Highway Patrol; Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy; and Rev. Richard D. Ellsworth, Chaplain, Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Justice Kennedy addressed members of the 154th Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy Cadet Class at their graduation ceremony held Friday, April 10, 2015, in Columbus.

In her message to the graduates, Justice Kennedy emphasized their new roles as guardians of the state.

“Your profession is a call to service,” she said. “It will be answered at a cost and will require great perseverance and honor to fulfill. [It] will require you to demonstrate qualities of high moral character – qualities that have been instilled in you and are embodied in the core values that you are committing to today.”

She also reminded them of the effects their actions could have on their communities.

“More than your supervisors or your instructors here at the academy, you have the ability to impact your profession for better or for worse by the way you conduct yourselves,” she said. “Your actions even when you are not wearing the uniform can change people’s perceptions of law enforcement officers.”

Finally, she urged them to continue educating themselves, referring to their time at the Academy as the foundation of their training.

“It is incumbent upon you to build on that,” she told them. “You must continually prepare yourself for every unimaginable situation. Your training here and the training you maintain on a daily basis will carry you forward and safely home.”

She finished by commending the new troopers for their success so far.

“You have received impeccable training from one of Ohio’s finest institutions. You have stayed the course and lived up to the high expectations of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy. You have been instilled with the core values that will make the difference between life and death in what lies before you,” she said. “Until we meet again, may God bless you and go with you as you live out the strength, courage, and character of who you are now: an Ohio State Trooper.”

Justice Kennedy is serving her second term on the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy served on the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division from 1999 to 2012. She served as the administrative judge there from 2005 until December 2012. Justice Kennedy began her career in the justice system as a police officer in Hamilton, Ohio. She received her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

For a high-resolution, print-quality photo of Justice Kennedy, visit: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/PIO/news/images/justices/kenedy_highres.zip.