On October 24, 2012 the Massachusetts State Police Academy began its first simultaneous training of local and SSPO student officers in years. State Police Municipal Academy (SPMA) #4 and Special State Police Officer (SSPO) #24 started the academy together and will train together in classes such as criminal law, criminal procedure, first responder, physical training, defensive tactics, domestic violence, patrol procedures and other classes required by both police recruit classes. On day one, 59 municipal recruits from every corner of the Commonwealth and 27 SSPO recruits arrived in New Braintree.
The SPMA class is a combined effort of the Massachusetts State Police and the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC). Municipal Police Chiefs seeking training for their police recruits can select to send their candidates to the State Police Academy in New Braintree. The SPMA curriculum is based upon the standard MPTC 800 hour MPTC curriculum.
Special State Police Officers (SSPO’s) are police officers who obtain police powers from the Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police. Most of the Special State Police Officer’s are employed by colleges and universities but police officers from hospitals, railroads, and the Department of Youth Services (DYS) are also considered SSPO’s. The SSPO curriculum is determined by the Colonel and is currently 600 hours in length.
Training begins each morning promptly at 0700 hours and concludes at 1600 hours, allowing for 8 training hours (½ hour personal time to shower after PT and ½ hour for lunch). Approximately 60% of the class chooses to stay overnight at the academy. Recruits are not held to the same standards of discipline as during the training day, however, they are held to a high standard of behavior as guests of the academy.
Sergeant Dana Lapointe is the Senior Drill Instructor for the class and Trooper Gary Comeau, Trooper Erik Karlon, and Officer Mike Joslyn, from the Holden Police Department are the Drill Instructors.
Combining both classes has allowed for efficiencies in the schedule. Instructors in disciplines with a large number of hours (criminal law, criminal procedure, patrol procedure, etc.) have benefited by only having to teach the subject once to both classes. Additionally the training allows the municipal officers and the special state police officer’s to train together as they could be working together after graduation.
After the Thanksgiving holiday, the classes will separate as their curriculums diversify. Currently, 57 SPMA recruits from 31 municipalities, and 21 SSPO recruits from 13 agencies remain in the training program.
Agencies with recruits currently at the State Police Academy:
- Amherst, Andover, Barre, Bourne, Brookline, Chicopee, Dalton, Dennis, Hingham, Hubbardston, Mansfield, Marion, Mashpee, Metheun, Montague, Natick, New Bedford, Norfolk, North Adams, North Brookfield, Oak Bluffs, Orleans, Palmer, Raynham, Rochester, Rockland, Sherborn, Southbridge, Swansea, Templeton, Webster and Weymouth.
- Bentley University, Boston University Medical Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, Department of Youth Services, Gordon College, College of the Holy Cross, Holyoke Community College, Lasell College, Northeastern University, Springfield College, Westfield State University, Western New England University and Worcester State University.