Four men with ties to the area were among the 96 graduates of the 154th cadet class at the State Police Academy in Hershey Feb. 1 in the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

As the loved ones of Curtis Jury of Newton Hamilton, Travis Sather of Huntingdon, McConnellstown native Franklin Hood III, now of Lancaster, and Emerson Miller of Huntingdon County looked on, acting state police commissioner Robert Evanchick announced the completion of 27 weeks of intensive classroom and physical training.

“Growing up, I’ve pretty much always known this was something I wanted to do,” said Jury, a 2014 graduate of Mount Union Area High School. “I volunteered in the fire department and have always wanted to help people.”

Following his high school graduation, Jury attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for three years, until he received his appointment to the State Police Academy.

“It was a long wait,” he said. “It was definitely more than I expected, both physically and mentally.”

Jury is the son of Tammy and Fred Jury of Newton Hamilton and has been assigned to Troop H, Newport.

Sather earned a degree in political science and economics from Penn State University in 2010, following his graduation from Huntingdon Area High School in 2006.

“I wanted to go into the police academy when I got out of college, but I got a great job offer and my wife, Candace, and I moved away,” Sather said. “I wanted to move back to the area and it so happened my name was selected again.”

Sather entered the State Police Academy at the age of 30.

“It was challenging, more so mentally than anything else. A 30-year-old body isn’t quite the same as someone just out of school,” he said, laughing. “You are always expected to be somewhere, which can cause a lot of mental stress.”

He has been assigned to Troop F, Montoursville, and will continue to reside locally. Sather said he hopes to be assigned to Troop G eventually.

A 2008 graduate of Huntingdon Area High School, Hood lived in the McConnellstown area for much of his life before moving to the Lancaster area after his graduation from Shippensburg University.

“Ever since elementary school, state troopers were people I looked up to,” said Hood. “You hold them up on a pedestal. It was something I wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure if it was realistic.”

Hood resides in Lancaster with his wife, Taylor, and originally entered the State Police Academy with the 152nd class in January 2018, but was sidelined by an injury in his 24th week of training.

“I got hurt and had to go back through. I had completed 24 of 27 weeks when I got sent home,” said Hood, adding that he underwent seven weeks of training to complete his training with the 154th class. “For six months, I had a lot of time to reflect. The training is definitely demanding and I look forward to getting to work at the station to perform the job.”

Miller was unavailable for comment. He has been assigned to Troop C, Clearfield.

For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit www.psp.pa.gov. To learn more about becoming a Pennsylvania State Trooper, visit www.patrooper.com.

April can be reached at afeagley@huntingdondailynews.com.

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