LOWER PAXTON TWP., Pa. -- One hundred and thirteen of them started. Only 48 finished.
The 144th class of Pennsylvania State Police cadets graduated Friday at Bishop McDevitt High School. The class originally started with 113 cadets, which dwindled to 49 amid the ongoing investigation into alleged cheating at the state police academy.
"You, individually, and your class as a whole, have been challenged to live up to our core values," Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker told the class of cadets. "The self respect you displayed and the honor of character you employed by not taking a (sic) easy path will forever mark you as remarkable men and women."
Blocker's reference to the cheating scandal was far from veiled, and far from over. One of the 49 cadets set to graduate did not take part in Friday's ceremony. Blocker said "13 or 14" others were still under investigation.
"When you talk about cheating, that is the issue. It speaks to the department’s integrity," Blocker said.
This week, Blocker asked Pennsylvania's Inspector General to look into the Academy's cheating accusations.
"This is (an investigation) we self-initiated. This will make us a better law enforcement agency moving forward," he said.
The 48-trooper class is the PSP's smallest since 2012, but Blocker believed it will not negatively impact the state police from carrying out responsibilities and duties. Instead, more recruiters will travel throughout the state and the Academy will carry larger classes in the future, Blocker indicated.
"There is no blow to the State Police," Blocker said. "The PSP has a long and rich history of dedicated service to the citizens of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We will continue to be proud of our history."