Mass. State Police academy loses record numbers of recruits
The academy often loses recruits who come unprepared or get sick or injured; but this year, many have changed their minds about becoming officers
By Joanna Putman
NEW BRAINTREE, Mass. — Massachusetts State Police recruits are dropping out of the academy in record numbers, NBC 10 reported.
Academy leaders told NBC 10 that most trainees who have quit in previous years did so because they are unprepared, sick or injured. This year, many have cited feelings of no longer wanting to become a law enforcement officer.
Department data obtained by NBC 10 showed that 46% of the men and women who signed up because they wanted to protect and serve have dropped out. Half of the female recruits and 45% of the males resigned.
Most of the recruits who have dropped out did so in the first two weeks, during the phase of the academy known as “resiliency training.” Academy leadership call this training “hectic” and “extreme,” saying it allows them to see how recruits handle intense stress.
The academy underwent an investigation after an unauthorized training exercise left 20 trainees injured last year after they were required to bear crawl across hot pavement. The academy is under new leadership following the investigation.
Leadership stands behind the intensity of the authorized exercises during the first weeks of the academy, saying that it is comparable to the intensity of police work.
“We’re not going to be able to remove stress from law enforcement, from policing,” Major Jon Provost said. “We’re not going to be able to remove stress from the world but our function, our public service function has to be delivered professionally, even under high stress circumstances.”