There will be four new state troopers patrolling highways in Franklin County.

With the addition of the four new troopers, Franklin County will now have a total of 19, said Sgt. Al Nothum, highway patrol spokesman.

There have been some patrol vacancies in the county for a while, Nothum said.

But the addition of the new troopers should get Franklin County where it needs to be, Nothum added.

“We should be up to par in Franklin County,” Nothum said.

Four new troopers should make a significant impact on Franklin County, Nothum said.

“That should help out there a lot,” he said.

The new troopers assigned to Franklin County were part of a 38-member class that recently graduated from the patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy.

The four assigned to Franklin County are: Brian C. Clements, whose hometown is Waterloo, Ill.; Mark W. Hedlund, St. Charles; Daniel C. Highley, Fenton; and Tiffany L. Woods, Springfield, Ill.

Graduating more officers is a continuous process to replace retirees, said Capt. Tim Hull, patrol spokesman.

However, Nothum said the new troopers in Franklin County are not replacing retirees. The new hires here just bolster the highway patrol’s presence in the county, he added.

Another new class started the 26-week academy July 1.

The highway patrol has a mandatory retirement age of 60, and officers can also retire with full benefits once their age and years of service total 80.

Hull said some drop out of the academy early once they realize how mentally and physically intense it is.

The goal is to make sure the best officers are hired to protect the public, Hull said.

The graduation ceremony took place on the lawn of the state Capitol. The new officers will start July 28.

Gov. Jay Nixon addressed the class, and the Honorable Mary Rhodes Russell of the Missouri Supreme Court administered the oath of office.