Several family members took part in the ceremonies when 53 graduates of the 116th State Police training class received their badges. The event took place April 14 at the Jorgenson Center on the University of Connecticut campus, Storrs.
Two fathers, M. Sgt. (Ret.) Scott O’Mara and Lt. Ben Pagoni of Professional Services, attached badges to the uniforms of their sons, Trooper Marc O’Mara and Trooper Ben Pagoni, Jr.
Trooper Michael Hoague, who was seriously wounded in 1998 and has returned to duty at Troop C, Tolland, pinned his brother-in-law, Trooper Russell Longo.
An out-of-state officer, Det. Carey McKenzie of the West Springfield Police Dept., did the honors for his brother, Trooper Thomas McKenzie.
The principal speaker, Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal, said the state was proud of the new troopers and acknowledged the role their families played during the 6-month training period. He reminded the families that it was possible the new troopers may, on occasion, be in harm’s way.
Of the 53 new troopers five are women. All were immediately given their initial assignments.