The 168 recruits from the 86th State Police training class were formally sworn in as troopers Thursday during a ceremony at the DCU Center, with friends and family packing the Worcester arena and cheering them on.
State Police Colonel Christopher Mason told his newest troopers that he was giving them their first official order from the lectern.
“It is simple, it is timeless, it is direct — do good,” Mason said. “Be that trooper that extends a helping hand. Be that trooper that protects the vulnerable. Be that trooper that never stops caring. Follow and live by this order, and you will find your career to be immensely satisfying and rewarding.”
Mason said the current climate is challenging for police but added that his agency supports reform efforts.
“Valuable additions such as training in fair, impartial, and bias-free policing, the duty to intervene and to report, body-worn camera use, and de-escalation concepts are but some of the additional critical training you have been provided and no doubt will be called upon to use in the field,” Mason said. “You have received training that reinforces integrity and ethics and fosters a culture in which all persons are guaranteed their rights and their dignity.”
Prior to Mason’s remarks, Governor Charlie Baker administered the oath to the graduates and then offered words of encouragement himself.
“Day in and day out, you will have opportunities with your colleagues and your fellow troopers to make an enormously positive difference in the communities that you have a chance to support, serve, and protect,” Governor Charlie Baker told the newly minted troopers moments after administering their oath.
He noted that law enforcement personnel are under heavy scrutiny in the digital age.
Being a trooper, Baker said, “is an enormously honorable and difficult task, made more difficult by social media, by cell phones, and by all of the public visibility and accountability that comes with public service.” But the “flipside of that,” Baker added, is a daily opportunity to help people.
“And much of that work you do will never find its way into the public domain,” Baker said. “Because in many cases, the very best work you do will be about preventing bad things from happening and about standing up and supporting those you are honored and sworn to serve and protect.”
His words were echoed by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
“Each one of you is a committed, trained, educated, responsible, driven individual who cares deeply about the public safety — something that I’m sure long ago was in your being, that you recognized needed to propel you to this moment,” Polito told the graduates. “All of you together are an amazing force of courage, of strength, of bravery.”
She noted that of the 168 members of the graduating class, 73 are joining the State Police from municipal departments, 43 have served in the armed forces, and 23 are women.
“I want you to feel today the support of your community and your government and your family and friends,” Polito continued. “We will always be with you. We know you have our back, and we have yours.”
Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office works closely with State Police, also addressed the graduates and said their agency helps many people in the Commonwealth.
“You’ll arrest human traffickers and help ensure victims and survivors get the support they need,” Healey said. “You’ll combat financial fraud and corruption and abuse.”
David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said 37 percent of the members of the graduating class are either women or people of color.
In addition, he said, many of the new troopers are multilingual, with 17 fluent in Spanish; two fluent in Vietnamese; three fluent in Portuguese; and one each fluent in Cambodian, Cape Verdean Creole, French Creole, Haitian Creole, Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian, and Montenegrin.