Spencer McConnell, 25, of Coarsegold, has graduated from the California Highway Patrol Academy in Sacramento.
A 2008 graduate of Yosemite High School, where he played football and baseball, McConnell attended Fresno State and was a part of the Army ROTC program. He graduated in 2014 with a Bachelors in Exercise Science Kinesiology, and the title of Second Lieutenant U.S. Army (Specialty Military Police). Before entering the academy, he worked for the National Guard in San Luis Obispo.
His dream from day one was to become a law enforcement officer. He started the long and difficult application process for the CHP in 2013 and was accepted into the academy class for July 2015.
The CHP academy is considered one of the most elite law enforcement training facilities in the nation. Around 40% of all cadets that enter the gates of the CHP academy do not graduate. Some quit and some simply do not pass the required tests necessary to earn the title of officer.
McConnell endured 27 weeks of written and physical tests at the academy. More than 100 men and women entered the academy in July 2015 and 72 graduated, with McConnell ranked No. 9 in his class.
Following graduation, he was assigned to Westminster in Orange County. He is the son of Dennis and Kellie McConnell, and married 2012 YHS graduate Samantha (Sami) Dominici in June of 2014.