The rewards of becoming a state trooper are enormous and this is what is continuously arousing the interest of people wanting to join the forces. Serving the public good, providing peace and security, and enforcing the laws of the state and country require a certain degree of commitment and patriotism. Becoming a state trooper is not impossible but you must be prepared to overcome some hurdles along the way.
The procedures on how you can become a state trooper differ from one state to another but there are some common denominators as discussed below.
Examination of Your Qualifications
Before you begin the process of applying to the state police, it is important and in your best interests to first evaluate yourself. This will enable you to determine whether you meet all the requirements for joining and serving in the state police so that you do not submit an application only to be disappointed later when your application is turned down. To give you a snapshot, the following are some of the qualifications you need to meet.
- US Citizenship – You should be legally a citizen of the United States and have completed a GED program or high school.
- Above the age of 18
- Possessing a valid driving license – Many state police departments require you to have an in-state driver’s license
- No criminal record – Convictions of domestic violence, felony or public corruption can undermine your application
- No prior drug use and in case you did, it should be on a limited scale
During the application process, you should ensure that the forms are accurately filled and in full detail. Do not withhold or falsify information because this can make your application to be rejected and barred even for future opportunities. Some of the records you need to attach include transcripts, military records if any, diplomas, birth records, and employer recommendations.
Passing of Physical and Written Tests
The written tests are basically to demonstrate your mathematical and writing abilities. Some police organizations have in-house customized tests while others make use of nationally recognized examinations such as the Police Officer Selection Test.
On the other hand, the physical tests examine your strength, fitness and stamina. These involve long and short runs, sit-ups and push-ups. The scoring system for both physical and written tests differs from one state to another.
Background Check, Oral Interview and Polygraph Test
Background checks are done to examine your criminal record, financial history, social reputation, and employment history. The polygraph test which is quite intensive aims at verifying the information you submitted in your application package. Oral interviews are conducted mostly by senior officers and at some point you may meet with the chief of the organization. Normally, oral interviews are the final step before you are granted a Conditional Offer of Employment.
After the above steps, you are required to pass a psychological evaluation, medical examination, and drug test. Lastly, you will be required to complete the state trooper training program which further checks on your academic and physical fitness. This may last for several weeks or months.