Keith McCarty steps into blue as the newest graduate of the 110th Trooper School from the Georgia State Patrol Academy. The Swainsboro native vowed to serve and protect after eight months of rigorous training. McCarty, as he becomes a frontline worker and protector of Georgia citizens, credits his hometown and those from it for his success.
Born and raised in Swainsboro, he graduated from Swainsboro High School in 2015 and attended the University of Georgia after graduation. His parents are Chris and Monica McCarty, and he is recently married to Catelyn Sherrod McCarty.
During his time at SHS, McCarty was enrolled in the Work-Based Learning program, which allowed him work while attending school to receive my school credit hours. Because he was interested in veterinary medicine, McCarty worked at McRae Veterinary Clinic. After graduating high school, he continued to work for Dr. McRae and attended East Georgia State College, where he studied biology with intent in going to veterinary school one day. This is where McCarty says he learned about professionalism.
“I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Wesley McRae as a guiding mentor and leader,” he explained. “Dr. McRae taught me how to become a sound professional. He helped me consistently maintain a strong work ethic and educated me on the importance of always giving my best, no matter what. The attributes I acquired from Dr. McRae helped me push through trooper school and will follow me throughout my career in the years to come.”
McCarty’s career plans changed after he transferred to the University of Georgia. While attending UGA, he decided to do a ride along with a Georgia State Patrol Trooper. After that first ride along, McCarty was hooked, saying he knew this was his “true calling” and what he wanted to do with his life.
In order to complete the program, McCarty spent five months in Forsyth undergoing intense training. The last three months are spent in different locations with assigned troopers on the road learning everything there is to know about being a Georgia State Patrolman. Getting through trooper school there is an extensive process. It includes a physical training test, background investigation, polygraph, psychological exam, and a medical examination.
Though he is a first-generation Trooper in his family, McCarty’s younger brother, Tyler, has already begun to follow in his footsteps. Tyler has also started his career with law enforcement and is currently employed by Swainsboro Police Department. His older brother hopes to set an example for him and others, striving daily to lay out a platform of leadership and dedication for those who come after him.
In addition to troopers and former employers, McCarty’s mentors are also his parents.
“They have taught me to always do the right thing and to always protect others. They showed me how to stand my ground and keep moving forward to have the kind of career that I can be proud of. Their integrity and leadership have helped guide me in achieving my goals in my career and most importantly in my life achievements.”
Most of all, he says he is grateful for his experience and thankful he was put on this path.
“To be a graduate of the 110th Trooper School is an honor,” McCarty said. “It is an honor to put on that uniform and badge every single day. It is not an easy task to become a trooper, but it is one of the most rewarding professions. If you find yourself wanting to become a frontline worker and protect the citizens of Georgia, then this is where you should look. However, it is important to know how mentally and physically challenging this process is, but you will feel no greater victory when you put on that uniform and step into that car for the very first time.”