By Lea Skene | The Advocate | October 15, 2019
Three State Police troopers were transferred out of the agency’s training division this week after their superiors concluded that recent exercises went beyond “normal parameters” and caused significant injuries to some of the cadets involved.
Several cadets participating in the training academy received injuries last week that raised alarm among agency leadership, State Police Col. Kevin Reeves said at a news conference Tuesday.
“Last night when I met with the cadets, I apologized to them for the events that took place,” he said. “I took responsibility. … I take this very personally.”
Two cadets were also removed from the academy early last week after they were found cheating on a written test, Reeves said. The cheating was discovered after one was found with a cellphone, which is not allowed during State Police academy.
Reeves said the investigation into the cellphone is separate from the investigation into the injuries, though they happened “close together.” He declined to describe how the two could be related.
State Police leaders released minimal information about the incident until Tuesday afternoon. They confirmed late Monday only that the academy’s defensive tactics training program had been suspended and an internal investigation launched because the injuries went beyond what’s considered normal during those exercises, which include handcuffing, use of the expandable baton, pressure points, physical strikes, blocking and grappling techniques.
Still the only specifics that have been provided are that the injuries included bruising. Reeves said even broken bones are “not uncommon” during the physical parts of training, especially defensive tactics aimed at preparing recruits to effectively restrain a combative suspect without using excessive force.
The point is to minimize the likelihood of injury to both troopers and suspects, Reeves said.