Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and State Police Superintendent Col. Joseph R. Fuentes presented badges to the rookie troopers during graduation ceremonies at the Pine Belt Arena.
"As a Trooper, you will be called on to show leadership in responding to public safety hazards, defusing potentially violent situations, and aiding the sick and injured - our most vulnerable citizens,” Chiesa said. “You will be called on to deal with people who do not respect our laws. And you will be asked on a regular basis to put your personal safety at risk to help others. I commend each of you for having the courage and sense of purpose to commit yourselves to such a career.”
“This class represents the best and brightest in the state,” Fuentes said. “Their diverse life and professional experiences will undoubtedly help them as they embark on their new career as protectors and servants of the citizens of this great state.”
The 151st State Police class started with 123 recruits but 38 could not handle the training and dropped out.
Fourteen percent of the class has prior service in the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marines, or National Guard. Eighty-five percent have a college degree or higher. Fourteen of the troopers have prior law enforcement experience, 10 were school teachers, 10 were firefighters, and 9 worked in the emergency medical services field.
They are the first new troopers since June 29, 2009 when 103 troopers joined the force.
Fuentes charged the new troopers with this command: “Treat the public you will now serve with integrity, fairness, compassion and respect. I will expect no less of you.”
Capt. David Torres, State Police Academy commandant, said, “The choice to become a New Jersey State Trooper has been one of the most challenging endeavors these young men and women have ever attempted. From the first day at this academy, they have been tested, challenged, and evaluated both physically and mentally. Through perseverance and dedication, each of these individuals has emerged as members of a team,”
The oldest recruit in the class, at 34 years old, is Michael Ma of Hackensack. Ma emigrated from China with his family at 12 years old and was recently an officer with the Hackensack police.
Allison Pavlosky, a former Chester Township police Officer, is one of the 11 female troopers. Pavlosky was a standout in the class, earning both the Captain Baxter Marksmanship Award and the Commandant’s Award.
The 151st class completed 26 weeks of physical and academic training consisting of exhaustive classroom and practical training scenarios, including legal search procedures. The recruits participated in extensive training and role-playing exercises focused on domestic violence situations, human dignity and relations exercises, cultural diversity and sensitivity training, and the State Police initiative of community policing.
In the area of cultural diversity and minority instruction, the trooper recruits received detailed instruction from experts outside of the State Police, including representatives from ethnic, cultural, community and professional organizations.
Each applicant applying to the State Police is required to have a minimum of 60 college credits plus two years of work experience or, alternatively, a bachelor’s degree.
The troopers will be assigned to stations throughout the state and over the next 11 weeks, they will begin their careers under the guidance of trooper-coaches and supervisors.
-- TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM