Gregory F. Soto was among those who were certified during a ceremony last week at Elizabeth High School.
According to Hoffman, the class was the most racially diverse in State Police history, as 54 percent of the graduates hailed from minority groups.
“The 153rd class represents a major step forward in our continuing effort to develop and maintain a State Police force that reflects the diverse population it serves,” Gov. Chris Christie said. “That is critical because the State Police is the most visible symbol of law enforcement throughout New Jersey, and every individual Trooper who puts on the uniform is recognized as a leader -- on the road, in his or her neighborhood and in the community at large.”
Seventy-four percent of the class earned a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, while 42 percent played college sports, 16 percent previously served in the armed forces and several graduates have previous law enforcement or emergency management experience, according to Hoffman.
The class endured 24 weeks of strenuous physical and academic training consisting of exhaustive classroom and practical training scenarios and extensive training and role-playing exercises focused on domestic violence situations, human dignity, and cultural diversity, according to Hoffman.
While in training, seven recruits suffered deaths in their families, three were married and three had children. Throughout, recruits were required to focus on their training, Hoffman said.
“The life of a New Jersey State Trooper can be demanding, but in return you will be rewarded knowing that you are protecting and serving our citizens,” Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, told graduates during the ceremony. “As you wear the blue and gold uniform, you will realize, just as every trooper has before you, that being a trooper is more than a job, it is now part of who you are.”For the full list of graduates, click here.