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Pa. State Police commemorate 116th anniversary, honor latest trooper to be added to Memorial Wall

PennLive.com logo PennLive.com 5/2/2021 Steve Marroni, pennlive.com
a group of people sitting in chairs: Newly sworn in Pennsylvania State Troopers graduate from the State Police Academy as the 157th cadet class, Friday morning, Dec. 13 2019 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Harrisburg, Pa. Mark Pynes | mpynes@pennlive.com © Mark Pynes | mpynes/pennlive.com Newly sworn in Pennsylvania State Troopers graduate from the State Police Academy as the 157th cadet class, Friday morning, Dec. 13 2019 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Harrisburg, Pa. Mark Pynes | mpynes@pennlive.com

The Pennsylvania State Police took a moment Sunday to commemorate its 116th anniversary and to honor its fallen troopers.

Founded May 2, 1905, the Pennsylvania State Police became the first uniformed agency of its kind, state police officials said.

And as part of today’s commemoration, the name of Trooper Donald C. Brackett was added to the Memorial Wall at the state police academy in Hershey. Brackett died after suffering a medical emergency while on duty May 18, 2019.

“The 99 names etched into the Memorial Wall represent not only the individual troopers who died in service to the commonwealth since 1905, but also the sacrifices of countless family members and loved ones who suffered their loss,” Col. Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, said Sunday. “Today is a solemn day for our department, as we honor those who came before us and ensure that their contributions to our department are not forgotten.”

Due to pandemic restrictions, the PSP Academy shared a tribute video on its Facebook page in lieu of an in-person ceremony. An online version of the PSP Memorial Wall, with biographical information and photos of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, can be found here.

Gov. Tom Wolf marked the occasion by proclaiming May 2 as Pennsylvania State Police Day, state police officials said.

“Frances and I again extend our condolences to Trooper Brackett’s loved ones, as well as his larger state police family and everyone affected by his loss,” Wolf said. “Today serves as a reminder of the dangers faced by members of law enforcement, and I join all Pennsylvanians in pausing to remember the 99 troopers who have died in the line of duty.”

The Pennsylvania State Police started with 228 members and has grown to more than over the past 116 years to an authorized enlisted compliment of 4,719 and is supported by more than 1,700 civilian employees. It is the 10th-largest police agency in the United States.

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