🚔 State Police trooper dies Sunday afternoon

🚔 He was training to join specialized TEAMS unit

🚔 Authorities investigating his death

EWING — A New Jersey State Police trooper has died during a training exercise to join one of the agency's most demanding units.

Trooper II Marcellus E. Bethea died on Sunday, according to State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan. Bethea, who served with the State Police for over eight years, was stationed with Troop D in Moorestown.

Marcellus Bethea (NJ State Police)
Marcellus Bethea (NJ State Police)

Specialized TEAMS unit training

Bethea was training to join the TEAMS unit, Attorney General Matthew Platkin said.

"I extend my sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones, and together, New Jersey grieves with them and with every member of the New Jersey State Police," said Platkin.

The TEAMS unit has a rigorous selection process, according to the State Police website. It only has 30 members statewide that respond to special emergencies such as SWAT incidents, rescue operations, counter-terrorism operations, and underwater search and recovery.

Part of the training includes a "physically and mentally demanding underwater recovery course."

SEE ALSO: Police tackle 200-pound pig loose in South Jersey

Entrance to the State Police headquarters in Ewing (Google Maps)
Entrance to the State Police headquarters in Ewing (Google Maps)

Authorities investigating Bethea's death

Authorities have not said how Bethea died or what training exercises he was involved with before his death.

An investigation into Bethea's death is ongoing, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

Murphy said in a statement that Bethea had a "passion and spark for service from a young age." The trooper completed NJSP Trooper Youth Week while a student at Burlington Regional High School, according to the governor.

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