What do you do for a living?
I’m a State Trooper.
How would you describe what you do?
I enforce the state laws.
What does your work entail?
Most of my work entails work in traffic accidents, heading patrols on DWI’s, and speed enforcement.
What’s a typical work week look like for you?
We work eight hours a day on the highways enforcing the traffic laws. I patrol 4 counties working traffic accidents, enforcing speeding laws, and working DWI’s.
How did you get started in this career?
My father was a long time State Trooper and it was something I was brought up with. The State Police has a great tradition and it was something that I always wanted to do.
…there’s a huge history of becoming a State Trooper. It’s a big, big achievement, and I think that we’ve set ourselves above the rest. And I think that that’s what they are looking for when they go to hire a person is somebody that stands out above the rest, that has honesty, integrity, and is willing to work hard and treat people fairly in the world.
What do you like about your job?
I like helping the citizens of this state by serving and protecting them.
I really enjoy getting people who don’t belong on the roads at the time, the ones that have been out drinking and driving, off the roads before they hurt somebody.
What do you dislike about what you do?
To tell you the truth, I really can’t think of anything that I really dislike about what I do. I really enjoy every aspect of it, and it’s a really good career.
How do you make money or how are you paid?
I’m paid on a forty-hour workweek schedule from the State.
How much money do you make starting out as a State Trooper?
Starting out, you make close $40,000 a year.
How much do you make as a state trooper?
About $40,000 a year.
Are there any perks associated with this job?
I would say that a perk could be getting to go and do different stuff around the State such as work in the State Fairs or getting to work football or basketball games.
What education or skills are needed to become a State Trooper?
The education required is a high school degree and you can also have military time to be hired on here. You don’t have to have a college education to get hired with the State Police.
I think the college degree would be helpful to have, it would help you get hired easier, but it’s not a requirement.
Then you have to get accepted into and pass trooper school.
It’s actually a really long process. You send in your initial application and they’ll contact you and you’ll go down for physical assessment test, and you’ll do the physical assessment.
Then, if you pass that portion of the test, you will come back and do a polygraph test. If you pass that portion then you’ll have interviews with the Majors and different people that sit on the Board.
And if you pass that, then you get invited to trooper school and you’ll go through trooper school for however long they have it scheduled. I think most of the time they’re twenty-two weeks, and then you go through a vigorous physical tests and numerous classes.
As far as specific skills I can’t think of any in particular. They train you in school really well.
…the most challenging thing that a police officer has to do is when someone loses a loved one in a car accident. To be there and see that, and then go speak to the family…that’s something that’s real tough.
They teach you about accident investigation, and what you’re supposed to do in certain situations. You learn how to shoot, you know to qualify with a gun, and they train you in different situations like that. So they’ll teach you the skills that you need to know to be a state trooper.
You do need to be somebody that has honesty, integrity, and is someone that’s willing to be a good police officer out there. Those are the type of people they look to hire as State Troopers.
What is most challenging about what you do?
I would say the most challenging thing that a police officer has to do is when someone loses a loved one in a car accident. To be there and see that, and then go speak to the family. Having to deal with that is probably the most challenging part about this job..
It’s very, very hard to go to a household in the middle of the night and wake them up and let them know that their family member just passed away in a car wreck. That’s – that’s something that’s real tough.
What is most rewarding about what you do?
I would say would just be the fact that you’re actually out here saving lives, and that if you can help one person, if you can save one person’s life then you’re doing good.
Knowing, I took that guy off the road that shouldn’t have been behind the wheel that night and I could possibly have just saved a life because he’s not going to go down the road and hit a family. I would say that would be the most rewarding part of my job.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
I would say that this is a real good career to get into. I’d say that if you really enjoy helping people and being around people then it’s a good career to get into, but if you’re not into that kind of thing then it’s probably not the career for you. Because you’re dealing with the public, and if you’re not good speaking to people, or don’t enjoy being around them then you’re probably not going to be somebody that really helps people out.
How much time off do you get or take off?
You just get your regular two days a week, just like everybody else. Our days off are different depending on shift schedules. So my days off are constantly changing because we’re on a rotation in our schedule. And some people, after a while, get a set schedule if the Sergeant allows it.
And then it’s about eight hours up a month that you build up for vacation.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
I would say the common misconception about what we do is that we’re out here harassing people and writing speeding tickets. We’re not out here harassing people, we’re trying to enforce the law and actually save somebody.
People think that we’re just picking on them because they’ve got a tail light out, or if they were running a little bit over the speed limit.
Enforcing speeding laws, DWI’s, state statutes and that sort of thing does help save lives.
What are your goals and dreams for the future in this career?
I would say right now to just keep enjoying what I’m doing, enjoy my career, enjoy my work, and continue doing what I’m doing. But I would like to promote within a few years and one day maybe become a post sergeant and then see how far I could go. I would like to be a captain of the State Police one day.
What else would you like people to know about what you do?
Like I said earlier, we’re not our here to harass people, we’re here to serve and protect.
Also, the main difference between the city police and state police is our tradition.
We started with thirteen original rangers and there’s a huge history of becoming a State Trooper. It’s a big, big achievement, and I think that we’ve set ourselves above the rest. And I think that that’s what they are looking for when they go to hire a person is somebody that stands out above the rest, that has honesty, integrity, is willing to work hard and treat people fairly in the world.