Governor Deval L. Patrick
State Police Academy Graduation
DCU Center, Worcester
Friday, May 9, 2014

Secretary Cabral and Members of the Administration;

Colonel Alben, Lt. Colonel Hanafin and Members of the Command Staff;

Members of the Legislature;

Distinguished guests, family and friends;

And most especially, the 81th RTT.

Good afternoon. I’m proud and honored to be here to acknowledge this milestone in your lives and the life of the Massachusetts State Police, and to congratulate you and thank you all for your service to the Commonwealth.

A special welcome and word of appreciation to all of our new Troopers’ families. We appreciate that their service would not be possible without you. So, let’s all of us here on the dais join with the 81st RTT to thank the families for all you do. 

The 174 graduates who stand before me come from all walks of life and backgrounds.

43 of you are veterans, some of service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of you left home from another country to make your life in Massachusetts. Others have left accomplished careers and small businesses to begin a new career with the Massachusetts State Police. Some of you are continuing a family tradition of law enforcement, alongside siblings and even fathers. You can speak English, Spanish, Russian, Bosnian, French and Arabic. And after 23 weeks of preparation, each of you has dug deep and met the physical, intellectual and mental challenges necessary to become a Massachusetts State Trooper. 

What my grandmother would say in circumstances like this is: “Look at you now!” 

We are, in every way, trying to recreate a sense of community here in the Commonwealth. Community in the way I remember, growing up in the fifties and sixties on the South Side of Chicago, when every child was under the jurisdiction of every single adult on the block. If you messed up down the street in front of Mrs. Jones', she would straighten you out as if you were hers -- and then call home, so you got it two times. 

What those adults were trying to get across to us is that they had a stake in us. And that membership in a community is understanding the stake that each of us has, not just in our own dreams and our own struggles, but in our neighbor’s as well.

Every element of public service, every element of citizenship must be focused on how we recreate that sense of community. Because that sense of connectedness that comes from community will solve every challenge before us.

You new Troopers play a vital role in that. The respect you show, the understanding and patience you bring, the example you set can enhance or undermine that sense of community. If you bring to your mission the same integrity, commitment and professionalism that your seasoned fellow Troopers do every day, not only will you be all right, but our Commonwealth will be better.

I am confident that you will. I am delighted to welcome and again to congratulate you as you embark on your careers today as Massachusetts State Troopers.

Be careful. And Godspeed.

To view the related press release, click here.