(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com)– The Pennsylvania State Police welcomed 49 new troopers into their ranks Friday, May 12.

According to the release, this was the 166th class to graduate from the Pennsylvania State Police academy in Hershey, PA since its opening in 1960.

“The women and men of the 166th Cadet Class have completed one of the most intense and comprehensive basic training courses in the nation,” said Colonel Christopher Paris. “They are now prepared to join the ranks of the long gray line which has provided the most professional law enforcement services to the citizens of Pennsylvania since 1905.”

Of those 49 cadets, five earned special awards and recognition during the ceremony:

  • Robert D. Bastian received the Ronald M. Sharpe Leadership Award for exemplifying the qualities of leadership.
  • Robert D. Bastian also received the American Legion Award for all-around academic, physical, ethical, and moral qualifications.
  • Edward D. Svarchevsky received the John K. Schafer Memorial Award for the highest combined score on a series of physical skills tests.
  • Cooper D. LeGuard received the Daniel F. Dunn High Scholastic Award for the highest level of academic achievement in the class.
  • Ryan J. Marcella received the Colonel Paul J. Chylak Memorial Driver Proficiency Award for the highest proficiency in driver safety training.
  • John P. Matacic II received the Sergeant Charles B. Gesford High Pistol Award for the highest score on the department’s pistol qualification course.

The newly graduated troopers will report to their respective troops May 22.