PHOTO: 117 New Jersey State Troopers Graduate 159th Class in Toms River

YepNew Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan of the New Jersey State Police, presented badges to New Jersey’s newest state troopers during graduation ceremonies at the RWJ Barnabas Health Arena this morning.

The 159th New Jersey State Police Class graduated 108 men and 9 women. Of this graduating class, 81 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher, 10 percent are prior military, and 26 percent have prior law enforcement experience. Among the class, 11 are multi-lingual and 8 are Trooper Youth Week graduates.

The class completed 24 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. 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 this academy class, two recruits got engaged, one recruit got married, and three recruits had children.

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 supervisors.

“Today, we commend the men and women who have answered the call to serve and protect our residents,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am confident that this new generation of leaders will make our communities stronger and safer, exemplifying the ideals of the New Jersey State Police – Honor, Duty, and Fidelity.”

“We have great confidence in the ability and commitment of the graduates of the 159th Trooper class to protect and serve residents and live up the highest standards of the New Jersey State Police,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. “We are also grateful that they have chosen to answer the call of public service and to be examples and role models for our communities. May they always lead with integrity, pride, and honor.”

“Today, these men and women join the ranks of the New Jersey State Police and become part of a proud tradition of honor, sacrifice and service,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “They have learned much in 24 weeks, and they will learn much more as they take on the challenges of keeping the people of our state safe and secure, whether it be by patrolling our highways, investigating and arresting criminals, rescuing victims in peril, or other critical duties. I congratulate the members of the 159th Class and wish them long, fulfilling careers marked by achievement and solidarity with the communities they serve.”

“For the 159th Class, today’s ceremony is the culmination of six months of training from one of the most intensive and challenging law enforcement training academies in the country,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan. “I am confident that the graduates are not only prepared for the challenges they will encounter as New Jersey State Troopers, but will serve as exemplary role models and lead by example in all our communities across the State.”

In addition to honoring all graduates from the 159th class, Colonel Callahan presented the following awards:

The recipient of the “Father Grady Award” is Trooper Robert Hoffman, of Flanders, N.J. This award is presented to the recruit with the highest academic average.

The recipient of the “Captain Baxter Award” is Trooper Dominick Cagnole, of Sparta, N.J. This award is presented to the recruit with the highest marksmanship average.

The recipient of the “H. Norman Schwarzkopf Award” is Trooper Amanda Ryan, of Somers Point, N.J. This award is presented to the recruit with the highest physical average. The recipient of the “Dennis William Zilinski Award” is Trooper Victor Anaya, of Sewell, N.J. 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 Nigel Shockley, of Blackwood, N.J. This award is presented to the outstanding recruit selected by the academy instructors.

The recipient of the “Lieutenant James Walsh Award” is Trooper Tara Repose, of Moorestown, N.J. 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 Dean DelVecchio, of Warren, N.J. This award is presented to the outstanding recruit selected by his or her peers.


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