Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 15, 2011

Four new, one veteran trooper join Troop 6

PRINCETON — Four members of the 41-cadet strong, 61st Cadet Class of the West Virginia State Police have been assigned to duty stations in Mercer and McDowell counties as members of Troop 6..

Trooper Lamont F. Lee Sr. and Trooper John C. Teubert were assigned to the Princeton detachment and Trooper Jamie R. Coburn and Trooper Benjamin D. Gillespie have been assigned to the Welch Detachment. All four of the new local troopers have southern West Virginia roots.

“I have lived in the Beckley area for the past six years,” Lee, 32, said. “I served in the military for seven years. I like serving in uniform, but I wanted to try it in a different capacity.” Lee, who served a tour in Iraq, is married and has two sons.

Teubert, 24, a native of Lewisburg and a graduate of Greenbrier East High School, considers his father as a role model for a law enforcement career.

“My dad has been a police officer in Lewisburg for 20 years,” Teubert said. “He has enjoyed every bit of his 20 years of service. I thought I would like to pursue a career in law enforcement.”

Coburn, 25, a graduate of PikeView High School, is from Princeton. Prior to entering the State Police Academy on Jan. 10, Coburn served with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department for more than four years, beginning in September 2006.

Coburn said that he enjoyed serving with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department and added that he is “honored” to continue serving citizens as a trooper with the state police. Coburn is married and has a 15-month-old daughter.

Gillespie, 36, a 1993 graduate of Matoaka High School is also a Mercer County native. After graduating from high school, Gillespie worked in the coal mining industry for True Line Inc., a consulting firm located in Thorpe until January 2011, when he went to the State Police Academy.

Gillespie is married and has one daughter.

In addition to the two new recruits, a veteran trooper transfer from the Williamson Detachment also joined the Welch Detachment. Trooper J.K. Weiss, from Summers County is now serving with the Welch Detachment.

“Counting myself, we are now up to nine troopers,” Sgt. W.C. Tupper, commander of the Welch Detachment said. “Of course you can’t count the two new recruits until they finish their training, but we’re getting back up to strength,” Tupper said.

When the class entered the academy, 46 men and one woman entered. The graduates numbered 40 male and one female troopers. The West Virginia State Police has been serving the state since 1919.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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