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Pennsylvania State Police expands, modernizes academy

Governor Josh Shapiro, Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris, and Department of General Services (DGS) Secretary Reggie McNeil unveiled plans and broke ground on a new Pennsylvania State Police Academy. Pictured here is a moment from the event.
Johnny Palmadessa
Governor Josh Shapiro, Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris, and Department of General Services (DGS) Secretary Reggie McNeil unveiled plans and broke ground on a new Pennsylvania State Police Academy. Pictured here is a moment from the event.

In 1958, Pennsylvania broke ground on the Pennsylvania State Police Academy known as “The Hill.”

The facility stood the test of time, pumping out troopers since 1960.

On Monday, the agency broke ground for a new academy in Hershey.

“The magnitude of this project is quite substantial,” said state police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris. “This facility will be built from the ground up to provide the best training environment possible for decades to come.”

The new academy will consist of multiple buildings totaling 366,000 square feet and cost around $387.7 million, according to Eric Veronikis, press secretary for the Department of General Services.

One new feature will be large tactical training villages.

“When it’s all said and done, you’re going to have an indoor town for the rest of the week – a hotel, or a bank, or a gas station,” Lt. Adam Reed said. “Everything you need to simulate a real-world environment where we serve and protect every day.”

Paris said the new academy will allow cadets to better train in the use of force, de-escalation and managing situations with people in mental crisis.

DGS Secretary Reggie McNeil said the campus will emphasize energy efficiency and sustainability.

It will include a geothermal well system and infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Gov. Josh Shapiro said the new facilities will be more inclusive by giving better access to things such as locker rooms and dorms to women.

“It [the academy] will give female and male cadets hands-on learning opportunities that will better prepare them for service in their communities, and an adequate place for them to train and for them to be able to recover,” he said.

Applications to be a state trooper have increased by 258% since the removal of a college credit requirement in August.

The first stage of the academy is expected to open in October 2026. It is expected to be completed in 2028.