The Role of State Trooper in Criminal Justice and Law
State Troopers are meant for enforcement of motor vehicle laws and traffic safety. They have the authority to arrest or just ticket the individuals violating the federal and state law. State Troopers are also known as state patrol, highway patrol or state highway patrol. State Troopers have to immediately respond to a road accident scene, investigate and prepare the court report for testifying in court. Apart from these duties they also undertake the tasks like educating public, enforcing heavy motor vehicle law and the safety of the public. Throughout their state these troopers have to coordinate with other police officers also to provide backups in required situation. This job provides extreme authority to the officer in his area, so the officer need to have patience and do justice to his work.
Educational Requirements to Become a State Trooper
The minimum educational qualification required to apply for the job of state trooper is a diploma in high school or GED. The qualification standard varies between states and the police departments. Some departments do not prefer asking for minimum educational qualification instead they provide on the job training after hiring. On the other hand some departments ask for minimum two years of college degree.
Having a criminal justice degree is preferable. State troopers are sworn law enforcement officers having uniform. They should be capable of working with the public. They must have a clean criminal record. Self-motivation of state troopers must always be high and communication skills should be good.
Preparation for a Career as a State Trooper
State trooper job is a tough job which requires physical and mental ability therefore the candidates preparing for this job must be physically fit and mentally strong as they have to work in different whether conditions. Well educated and qualified troopers are promoted to higher ranks.
The aspiring applicants are required to pass a written test based on writing skills, reasoning and mathematics. The candidates need to prove their stamina, fitness and strength to pass the physical test. Long, short run and sit-ups are included to check your physical fitness. It is mandatory to get a clear chit in a background check. The candidates must have a clean criminal record, employment history and financial history. The polygraph test is also a part of the selection process which may qualify or disqualify the applicants.
How to Apply for a Position as a State Troopers
States have their own pattern of application, it may differ from state to state. Application form should be filled completely without hiding any information otherwise it may lead to cancellation of the current application and in the future.
Additional Information Related to a Career as a State Trooper
Taking example of Florida for the requirement and selection process. Candidates must be a citizen of United States or a naturalized citizen can also apply. Candidates must be minimum 19 years of age and the eyesight must have minimum correctable vision of 20/30 with 140-degree view angle and the capability of normal color differentiation. Any disability related to eyesight preventing the performance of candidate, shall be disqualified. Candidate must have a valid driver’s license and should be willing to serve any part of Florida State on relocation.
Applying candidates should also possess any one from the list:
- Law enforcement experience for one year.
- Active U.S. military service experience for two years.
- Public contact experience for two years.
- From any accredited college, forty five quarter hours or thirty semester hours.
Preference is given to the qualified candidates who have served continuously for two years in United States military service and got a discharged with honor. And also to the candidates who have completed college course work of ninety quarter-hours or sixty semester-hours from an accredited institution. Preference is also given to the candidates having one year sworn law enforcement experience from Florida Certified Law Enforcement Agency.
In Florida Freshers get paid training of Law Enforcement for 28-29 weeks from F.H.P.T.A (Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy). Compensation they get is $2,514.88 per month, training material, lodging and meals.
Average Salary of a State Trooper
The average salary of a State trooper is around $55,000 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. And these salaries vary from state to state. The salary of State Trooper is higher than the officer working in the city police organizations because of their hard working conditions and greater job responsibilities and are subjected to promotion and the increment in salary.
Factors on which the salary of a trooper depends are geographical conditions, education, seniority and job responsibility.
There is a 7% employment growth for troopers and other police officers till 2020 as stated by United States Bureau of Labor Statics.
Apart from traffic law enforcement, the state troopers may also have to work in other police divisions such as:
Narcotics Unit-Major drug transportation is carried out through road only. Drug dealers and addicts can cause major harm to public life and property by the motor vehicles they use for transportation. Trooper play a vital role in detection and prevention of narcotics crime.
Criminal Investigation-After serving a required period of time in traffic law enforcement the state troopers are promoted to other divisions with increased salary and rank. They work as a crime investigators.
Counterterrorism-State police officers receives advance training and resources required to counter terrorist activity.
Tactical Units-The state troopers having highest physical and mental qualification join the tactical units. They undergo a rigorous selection process and an exclusive training on weapons, vehicles, equipment and tactical response procedures. The troopers working in tactical unit are responsible to handle high-risk situations like hostage, bomb threat etc.
Cyber Crime-Cyber-crime has become the biggest threat to every country. The state troopers are required to work with federal forensic laboratories and help in data recovery for criminal investigations.
Secret Missions-The state troopers are sometimes required to work with police departments of other states to conduct surveillance operations to trace and catch criminal gangs.