The complete selection process consists of a written examination, on which a candidate must score above a certain percentile and be ranked accordingly, a physical and psychological evaluation, a background investigation and polygraph rest, and a medical examination ("Selection Process," NYSP Recruitment Center, 2008).
The training process
The basic school of training for New York State Troopers is 26 weeks of residential training, cumulating 1,095 hours of training. Classes are given to recruits in a number of areas, including police skills, police science, operations and public interaction relations. The areas of education span a wide array of issues, to include firearm training, first responder and emergency vehicle operations, criminology, DWI enforcement, domestic violence enforcement, department policy on sexual harassment, how to make an arrest, and penal and constitutional law, amongst other topics. Some of the areas of instruction are expected and traditional, such as how to minimize the use of deadly force, while others, such as issues of public relations and cultural and diversity issues, reflect the changing times and attitude of the force ("Basic School Curriculum," NYSP Recruitment Center, 2008).
After graduating from the 26-week schooling program, probationary members of the force proceed to a 10-week Field Training and Evaluation Program (FTEP), where they perform regular police duties under the supervision and instruction of Field Training Officers (FTOs). The normal FTEP runs 10 weeks (35-12hr days) and is divided into phases, an introductory, advanced, and final evaluation phase, where the recruit is observed ("Field Training," NYSP Recruitment Center, 2008).
FTOs are troopers who, "in addition to their assigned road patrol duties, have volunteered to assist in the on-the-job training of new troopers. They are carefully selected for their combined skills as experienced road troopers, patience, positive attitude, communication and writing skills, and ability to perform as positive role models," and are selected and matched specifically with new trainees "because their personal competencies are best suited to meet the needs of a particular trooper during the first critical weeks of his or her career ("Field Training," NYSP Recruitment Center, 2008). The final phase of the field training is the probationary period, which lasts for one year after the graduation from the basic school, after which appointments are made permanent.
The starting salary and the promotional opportunities
During Police Academy training, the starting salary for a recruit is $50,374. This is raised to $61,525 upon graduation from the Police Academy, and follows with an increase to $65,358 and $77,218 after five years. There is additional salary compensation for officers serving in New York City and the following counties: Duchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester. These salary limits do not include overtime ("Salary and Benefits," NYSP Recruitment Center, 2008).
Within the force, there are numerous promotional opportunities from sergeant to superintendent. The process is competitive. An officer may compete in the promotional process for the supervisory rank of sergeant after 4 years of service, a position which has a salary of $90,795. After serving 2 years as a sergeant, the sergeant can gain the rank of lieutenant, with starting pay of $107,967. After 4 years of service, a candidate can become an Investigator in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation after 4 years of service or after 2 years of service with a Bachelor's Degree with a salary of $88,444 ("Salary and Benefits," NYSP Recruitment Center, 2008).
Being a trooper also includes many benefits, including 120 hours of annual vacation annually, up to a maximum of 224 hours, 12 annually paid holidays, 24 to 40 paid personal leave hours based on length of service, paid sick leave accumulating at the rate of 104 hours per year, health, dental, and optical insurance coverage, and all uniforms and equipment including dry cleaning services. A candidate is eligible to retire at half pay after 20 years ("Salary and Benefits," NYSP Recruitment Center, 2008).
In recent years, there has been a drive to improve community policing in some areas by increasing the hiring of historically underrepresented populations in the force, and these concerns may be reflected in selection and promotional policies.
Basic School Curriculum." NYSP Recruitment Center. 1 Apr 2008. http://www.nytrooper.com/curriculum.cfm
Field Training." NYSP Recruitment Center. 1 Apr 2008. http://www.nytrooper.com/field_training.cfm
NYSP Division of Police: History." NYSP. 1 Apr 2008. http://www.troopers.state.ny.us/Introduction/History/
Qualifications for New York State Trooper." NYSP Recruitment Center. 1 Apr 2008.…