271 Massachusetts State Police Recruits Begin 23 Weeks of Training Tomorrow at Department’s Academy

Early Monday morning, 271 members of the 85th Recruit Training Troop will enter the Massachusetts State Police Academy to begin the rigorous training to become Massachusetts State Troopers.

“Today’s  start of the 85th R.TT. serves as an important step toward ensuring that the Commonwealth’s  State Police force is adequately staffed to fulfill our core mission of serving and protecting Massachusetts’ residents and visitors and making our roadways safer,” said Colonel Christopher S. Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. 

Over the next 23 weeks, Recruits based at the Academy compound in rural New Braintree will receive instruction in police procedures; criminal and motor vehicle laws; defensive tactics; ethics; departmental policies, rules and regulations; firearms and other use of force equipment; emergency first aid; physical training; and emergency driving.  The training will be conducted by MSP drill instructors, classroom instructors, and specialized subject matter experts. 

Topics of instruction will reflect the wide spectrum of current and emerging issues that large modern police agencies are tasked with handling, including the opioid crisis, drugged driving, homeland security, social problems, mental health concerns, domestic violence, and animal cruelty. 

“Over the next 23 weeks, trainees will undertake a rigorous training regimen that will provide them with the fundamental skills required to navigate the modern policing environment,”Colonel Mason said.  “This recruit class will receive instruction that emphasizes skills such as de-escalation, responding to and serving diverse and vulnerable populations, and officer wellness. This training environment will expand on reinforcing the important ethical and moral expectations that both the agency and the public share.”

One hallmark of MSP Academy training is scenario-based instruction, in which Recruits respond to dozens of different situations simulating those they will encounter once they graduate and begin patrolling the state. The scenarios — which involve the use of role players and realistic environments such as structures, roadsides, and vehicles — simulate a wide range of incidents and actions, including car stops, hidden contraband, suspicious persons, barricaded or combative suspects, and active shooters.

The scenarios, mostly performed outdoors and at times at night, are combined with many hours of classroom instruction, subject matter tests, defensive training, and a rigorous cross training-based fitness regimen designed to replicate the physical demands faced by a state trooper. Recruits are also trained in use of Department-issued firearms, electronic weapons and other use of force equipment, as well as in emergency medical aid, water rescue, and use of the overdose reversal drug Narcan. Recruits undergo intensive training in emergency driving on the course at the MSP’s Emergency Vehicle Operations Center in Ayer. 

Recruits live at the Academy from Monday through Friday and complete homework assignments on weekends. The number of Recruits entering the Academy, 271, is the most in recent memory. Those who graduate will be sworn-in as MSP Troopers and begin their careers in late spring with assignments to road patrols out of the MSP’s five geographic Troops. 

“I am confident that this approach to training will produce excellent results and will ensure that the public gets the high level of service they deserve,” Colonel Mason said.