204 Massachusetts State Police Recruits Begin 23 Weeks of Training at State Police Academy
At 6 a.m., January 21, 204 trainees reported to the Massachusetts State Police Academy in New Braintree for the 84th Recruit Training Troop. Over the next 23 weeks, the trainees will undergo a rigorous program to prepare them to become Massachusetts State Troopers. Trainees who complete the 84th Troop will graduate and take their oaths to serve on June 27. In between today and that day, trainees will undertake one of the most intensive regimens of any police academy, anywhere, including police procedure, criminal law, motor vehicle law, physical fitness training, ethical standards, medical first aid, defensive tactics, emergency vehicle operation, and firearm use. The trainees will live at the Academy from Monday through Friday of each week, under the direction of the Academy Commandant, Executive Officer, Drill Sergeant, and Drill Instructors. Training will take place in classrooms, where topics will be taught by subject experts; in the Academy’s gym and across its grounds, where physical training is held and defensive tactics are taught; in the firing range, and at the MSP’s Emergency Vehicle Operations Center in Devens. Additionally, trainees will be taught how to recognize impairment by alcohol or drugs and to perform field sobriety tests on suspected impaired drivers. They will also be instructed in how to defuse volatile confrontations with hostile persons, to administer Naloxone, a drug used to treat overdose victims, and to use electronic control weapons, a less-lethal use of force that can subdue a violent suspect before the point where lethal force is necessary. Another major component of the Academy will be scenario-based training, typically held in the latter portion of each Troop. Trainees will respond to dozens of scenarios, devised by Academy staff and featuring role players, that simulate real-life police incidents. Scenarios typically include simulations of felony motor vehicle stops, searches for hidden contraband, confrontations with combative or armed suspects, domestic incidents, active shooters, and numerous other situations that police officers respond to every day. Many scenarios are held at Circle Drive, a grouping of homes on the Academy grounds that are used to replicate residences, business establishments, or other locations. Those trainees who complete the Academy and graduate in late June will be sworn-in as Massachusetts State Troopers and be assigned to road patrol duties at an MSP Barracks. They will spend the first few months of their careers assigned to a veteran Trooper, designated as a Field Training Officer, to further refine their training and test their performance.