Trucking runs in our blood. If it runs in yours, you should join us in #BleedingBlue.

Apply Now

A Conversation with Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Josh Hedden

Our Ada Brewster continues her conversation series with a conversation with Georgia State Patrol Corporal Josh Hedden. Ada asked Cpl. Hedden about a series of different topics such as COVID-19 and recent protests to get his personal view as a law enforcement professional.

Cpl. Hedden was raised in a small north Georgia town, by his single, disabled mother and he grew up close to his extended family.   Cpl. Hedden says his grandmother was his greatest role model, she was a very intelligent retired elementary school teacher, who he never once heard speak a bad word about anyone.

Growing up, Cpl. Hedden always admired people in public safety, the local Police Chief, Jimmy Wright, was a positive influence in Cpl. Hedden’s life as a friend and someone Josh looked up to. Wright’s influence led Cpl. Hedden to want to join the Georgia State Patrol.

At age 25, after applying, passing a string of tests followed by a psychological evaluation, medical exam, and an entrance exam, Cpl. Hedden was accepted to the GSP Trooper School.   Before becoming a trooper, cadets undergo 33 weeks of intense physical and mental training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.  During that time Cpl. Hedden says, cadets complete a GA Post Curriculum with other training in Basic/Advanced Firearms, Basic/Advanced Driving, Crash Investigation (On scene Levels 1-3), Field Sobriety Training for DUI Enforcement, Radar and Lidar for Speed Detection.  Cadets also go through three months of Field Training and during that time we train at three different field posts throughout the state.  Once you complete, and successfully pass, you get to the prestigious title of Trooper.

Everyone starts their career as a Trooper.  After 18 months on the job and with a supervisor’s recommendation to the Command staff, a Trooper becomes a Trooper First Class (TFC).  There three levels to the TFC rank structure.  These ranks come with time, training and a supervisor’s recommendation to the Command staff.  While in the phase two of his career, Hedden became eligible and was promoted to the rank of Corporal.  “I feel extremely fortunate for this opportunity and I will continue working and serving to progress further,” Cpl. Hedden said.

Cpl. Hedden is assigned to Post 6, which is Gainesville, GA, the capitol of Hall County. Folks in the trucking industry know it as the poultry capitol of the world, with its claim to fame, the chicken monument. Cpl. Hedden says Hall County is much bigger than his hometown. Post 6 covers Hall, White, and Banks County.

The working environment is a little different than Cpl. Hedden’s hometown. His hometown only has one grocery store, no malls or big businesses.  “There is a two-lane road that runs through the town, and even at 34 years old, I can remember when we only had one red light in the county, now our small country town has four traffic lights,” Cpl. Hedden said.

When I asked about recent events including COVID-19 and how that has affected people in the communities he serves and his own hometown, Cpl. Hedden pointed to the fact that we don’t know when or if it’s ever going away completely, that people should maintain the safety procedures set by the CDC while getting out and enjoying their lives. Cpl. Hedden also said that we shouldn’t let fear of what may be going on around us keep us from enjoying our families.

In the past weeks, as protestors gathered to exercise their first amendment rights stemming from George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers, Cpl. Hedden has been called into work the protests in Atlanta.  When I asked him about that his reply was simply put, “I can say that it is my job to ensure safety for anyone exercising their First Amendment rights.  It’s our job to make sure life and property are protected while those rights are being exercised.   Anytime there is an event that brings a negative light on law enforcement, it’s hard. There are so many good law enforcement officers in this world.  I will continue to hope the public separates the good from the bad.” 

Cpl. Hedden and his wife, Tanya, have two young sons, and he says it all goes back to family for him. “I miss my family when work keeps me away longer than usual, but my family believes in what I do, and they are understanding.  There is no way to do this job without the support of family and friends.  My family understands my role as a protector of others.  They miss me while I am away and I miss them, but they support me in my role every day,” Cpl. Hedden said.

“When Josh leaves there’s always that fear in the back of my mind. The what if’s, but I can’t let fear consume my life. I pray, put my trust in God, and let Him handle the rest. At the end of the day He has the final say so.,” Tanya Hedden said.  “The boys always keep me busy, but we just continue with our normal routine. I never want to instill worry or fear in them. If Josh leaves suddenly and our oldest knows something may be going on then we vaguely talk about it, pray about it, and I try to make him understand that it’s ultimately in God’s hands.”

Family time is important for the Hedden’s. They enjoy visiting with friends and family, going out to eat, and just being outdoors in general.  Some of their favorite activities include riding four wheelers and fishing.

At the end of the day, Cpl. Hedden wants people to know that he and the other men and women in uniform are just like everyone else. “We are human. We have families and loved ones who depend on us, just like the public does. We work hard every day to keep the roadways safe and to assist other agencies with anything asked of us.  We enjoy interacting with members of our community and we hope they feel the same.”

Cpl. Hedden has a message he wanted to pass along to the men and women out on the roads driving trucks over the past few months. “I want them to know I appreciate the job you do, and your families. I understand you are away from your families for days, weeks or even months. Without you the stores would be empty, no fuel at the gas stations, no places to go eat and so on. Truck drivers are a vital source to everyday life and without them America would suffer, so thank you to every driver and your family for your dedication and time.”

This is the fourth piece in Ada Brewster’s conversation series. Previously, Ada has chatted with Kottke Trucking drivers Laurie and Buz Scutt, Dan DiGrazio with Butterball and Mary Weaver of Mary’s Southern Grill.

Speak Your Mind


(800) 248-2623 (320) 833-5385

Kottke Trucking, Inc.