The Massachusetts State Police Training Academy is facing a record dropout rate just weeks into training.
The alarming numbers—almost half of this year’s trainees—come at a time when the State Police are already facing challenges with recruitment.
A recent story from NBC-10 Boston investigated the potential reason for the record-high dropout rate for the Massachusetts State Police Academy. Below is an excerpt from the NBC-10 Boston story.
The NBC-10 Investigators were invited inside the academy walls to get a firsthand look at what it takes to become a state trooper and the extremely demanding training involved after we began asking questions about the high attrition rate of this class. We watched as the 89th recruit training troop worked on fitness, drilled down on how to handle their guns, and much more.
Department data we obtained showed overall 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.
Major Jon Provost, the Deputy Division Commander of Training, told us, “One reason that is jumping out for us for the 89th, and it’s a statistically significant number, is that candidates that are resigning and telling us that this profession is just not something they’re interested in doing anymore.”
Most of the trainees dropped out during the first two weeks of the academy which are also some of the most intense and when they’re first exposed to the physical and mental stress involved.
“We call it stress exposure resiliency training, it’s very scientific-based, it’s hectic to see, it’s extreme to participate in. We need them functioning and making good decisions while under stress. So, we’re exposing them to that here and we are constantly evaluating how they handle that.”
The top three reasons trainees left the academy were medical or injury, unprepared physically and/or mentally, and wrong career choice. One told us the training felt like hazing.
Major Provost took over the leadership here in the wake of an internal investigation involving the use of an unauthorized exercise last year that left twenty trainees injured after being forced to do bear crawls on hot pavement. He said hazing is a phrase they’ve heard.
“The hazing accusation, I would say that’s probably the candidates who have not allowed themselves to experience or to identify what their stress thresholds are,” he said.
To read the full story from NBC-10 Boston, click here.