In the second incident within the month, about 20 Massachusetts State Police Academy trainees were injured after being forced to do an unauthorized exercise, according to a state police official.
Col. Christopher Mason initiated an internal affairs investigation after learning the trainees were forced to do “bear crawls” across the hot pavement, which resulted in some blisters on their hands, said David Procopio, director of media communications, in a statement.
A recent report from the Telegram & Gazette outlined the events that left roughly 20 Massachusetts State Police Academy trainees injured.
Below is an excerpt from the Telegram & Gazette story.
“Some Academy trainees were required to perform a physical exercise … that was not authorized as part of the training curriculum, added no value to the training, and contradicted the expectations that MSP Command Staff explicitly conveyed to Academy staff prior to the start of the current Recruit Training Troop,” Procopio said.
Mason became aware of the incidents — which took place several days apart from each other — just days after they occurred and immediately launched the investigation, Procopio said.
It is not clear why the trainees were forced to participate in the exercise but the investigation will aim to find that answer, he said.
Procopio said the investigation also aims to “identify and hold accountable any academy staff found responsible for the unauthorized training.”
Earlier this month, a recruit accidentally shot and injured his leg with a gun while holstering it during an exercise. The trainee was able to return to classes days later.
“All but one continued their training,” following the recent incidents, Procopio said. “One recruit resigned, not because he would have been medically unable to continue, but rather with dissatisfaction that the incident occurred.”
Procopio said Mason has increased oversight of training operations and removed two academy drill instructors — one man and one woman, neither of whom have been named — who “supervised the unauthorized physical exercises.”
They were both returned to their regular assignments elsewhere in the department.
Mason also removed and replaced Detective Lt. Scott McDonald, the academy commandant, and Lt. Brian Gladu, the executive officer responsible for oversight of the academy’s day-to-day operations.
“The Commandant has been replaced by a commissioned officer whom the Colonel assigned to the Academy last week to familiarize himself with operations in anticipation that a change of leadership would follow,” Procopio said.
To read the full story from Telegram & Gazette, click here.