Albany, N.Y. - After six challenging months of training more than 100 trainees graduated from the State Police Academy on Tuesday.
Tears were flowing as troopers graduating in the 198th Class of the New York State Police Academy celebrated a day they thought might never come.
"A lot of people almost gave up on this dream and those of us who stuck around, it was all worth it," said Trooper Daniel Klocek of Queensbury.
The last graduating class for the State Police Academy was in 2009.
"Many of us had given up hope that there may have been another class. Some of us probably forgot we even took the test," said Trooper, and 198th Class Representative, Edward Fleming.
For many the wait was long and hard.
"It's outstanding. I can't even believe I'm here, standing here in this uniform. I mean everybody here was wondering if they were going to have a class and if so how many people. I'm proud to be part of the 133 that got selected," said Trooper Greg McMullen of Delmar.
For three years the state could not add more recruits because it couldn't afford them.
"That was the first time since the 70's that the state had gone without a class of troopers so it really was a difficult situation. This is now a larger class to try to make up for some of the missed classes," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
It's a larger class that through the hardship of almost missing out on their dreams, is more ready than ever before to protect and serve you.
"We've shed a lot of blood, sweat, and tears up until this moment. During that time we've become somewhat of a second family. We truly are the future of the New York State Police," said Trooper Fleming.
Although the 198th class has graduated, their training is far from over.
The 133 new troopers will begin ten weeks of field training on October 22nd.
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