LINCROFT, NJ (Monmouth County) – New Jersey Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck, and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan Thursday presented badges to New Jersey’s newest state troopers during the graduation ceremony at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft.
The 162nd New Jersey State Police Class graduated 138 men and 12 women. Of this graduating class, 137 have college degrees, 25 are prior military, and 24 have prior law enforcement experience. Among the class, 55 were college athletes, 6 were firefighters, and 4 were emergency medical technicians.
The class completed 21 weeks of strenuous physical and academic training consisting of classroom lessons and practical training scenarios. The recruits also participated in role-playing exercises such as motor vehicle stops and domestic violence situations. In the area of cultural diversity, the class received detailed instruction from community and cultural organizations.
The life of a recruit is challenging in many ways and the New Jersey State Police Training Academy is one of the few residential academies in the nation. Recruits report to the academy before dawn on Monday morning, and they do not return home until dismissal on Friday evening. Therefore, recruits are away from their families during significant life events. During training, 4 graduating troopers had children born, 6 were engaged, and 1 had a family member pass away.
The newly graduated troopers have been assigned to stations throughout the state, and over the next few months, they will begin their careers under the watchful eye of their Trooper-Coaches and immediate supervisors.
“I congratulate the members of the 162nd Class on their graduation and wish them well as they begin their work with the State Police,” said Governor Murphy. “Our law enforcement officers are the backbone of our state, and I know these newly graduated Troopers will honorably serve the public.”
“To the graduates of the 162nd Class, I wish you the best in the new year as you embark on this journey as a law enforcement officer,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Your grit and determination in completing this rigorous training program has proven your ability to join the ranks of one of the finest and most respected police forces in the nation. Thank you for your service to the people of New Jersey.”
“Congratulations to the 162nd New Jersey State Police Class, who enter law enforcement at a time of great need, and who have the unique opportunity to shape the State Police’s next century of service,” Bruck said. “The resiliency and selflessness these recruits have demonstrated in the last 21 weeks will not only carry them forward throughout their careers, but will make a lasting impact on the communities they serve.”
“As the New Jersey State Police completes its one-hundredth year of service to the citizens of New Jersey, the journey of the 162nd Class has just begun. The troopers graduating today will define the future of our organization and must rise to the challenges of a changing nation, with risks and unknowns never before experienced by law enforcement. These men and women must navigate uncharted waters utilizing our core values of Honor, Duty and Fidelity, to create a legacy to be proud of, just as generations of troopers have done before them,” Callahan said. “The members of the 162nd Class have demonstrated the ability to adapt, improvise, and overcome; and have each earned the right to proudly call themselves ‘Jersey Troopers.’ I believe their rigorous training has fully prepared them for the obstacles that lie ahead in their careers, and I very much look forward to what the future will bring.”
In addition to honoring all graduates from the 162nd Class, Colonel Callahan presented the following awards:
- The recipient of the “Father Grady Award” is Trooper Christopher Piccolo. This award is presented to the recruit with the highest academic average.
- The recipient of the “Captain Baxter Award” is Trooper Kedar Dockery. This award is presented to the recruit with the highest marksmanship average.
- The recipient of the “H. Norman Schwarzkopf Award” is Trooper Ronnah Parham. This award is presented to the recruit with the highest physical average.
- The recipient of the “Dennis William Zilinski Award” is Trooper Peter Vazquez. This award is presented to the outstanding recruit who is currently serving or who has served in the U.S. military, demonstrated active support and service to the class, and exemplifies the State Police’s service to the citizens of this state.
- The recipient of the “Commandant’s Award” is Trooper Lauren Gaskill. This award is presented to the outstanding recruit selected by the academy instructors.
- The recipient of the “Lieutenant James Walsh Award” is Trooper Salomon Pierre. This award is presented to the person who exhibited dedication, commitment, loyalty, and unselfishness during training.
- The recipient of the “Superintendent’s Award” is Trooper Noah McCarson. This award is presented to the outstanding recruit selected by his or her peers.