Have you ever considered a career as a Georgia State Patrol trooper? Are you curious if you have what it takes? Post 8 of the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) located in Madison is recruiting candidates who are interested in making a difference in the safety of drivers.
With fewer people applying to the GSP now than in the past, a recruiting office was established in the last year and a half to inform the public of both training requirements and career compensation benefits.
“We are offering a physical fitness test on Wednesday, May 16, at 6 p.m. at the Morgan County High School’s track field,” stated Regional Recruiter Trooper First Class (TFC) 3 Ben Rollins.
Candidates applying to the GSP must complete several steps. Usually an online application is submitted first, but anyone attending Wednesday’s PT test is allowed to turn in the paperwork on site afterward. The PT test consists of 21 pushups in one minute, 30 sit-ups in a minute, and running a mile and a half in 15:34 minutes; your results will be monitored at the track.
Applicants must also be 21 years old at the time of graduation from Trooper School and cannot have any visible tattoos.
Once basic requirements are met, a polygraph exam, background investigation, oral interview by a panel, psychological evaluation, and medical evaluation including a drug screening will follow.
After successful completion, applicants are admitted to Trooper School.
The term spans 32 weeks, from January through August. “The school is very strict and disciplined – very paramilitary, physically and mentally demanding. [Cadets] have PT every day and have to meet standards for driving and marksmanship. We see some people quit because of it,” Rollins stated.
“We do that for a reason; it’s one of the longest training programs in law enforcement,” explained Captain Doug Wilson. “We’d rather have people realize if this is not for them while at the school than when they are facing real situations later.”
Rollins pointed out that, “Payment begins on the very first day of school – $36,110 annually, and the school itself doesn’t cost anything. We provide needed supplies and cover costs of meals as well as room and board.”
After graduation, the salary increases to $46,422; a Trooper First Class 3 is paid $61,825. Graduates also receive equipment that includes a “take-home” car and are offered various opportunities such as being part of an aviation team, SWAT unit, K-9 division, honor guard, and more. Other benefits include a 401(k), a Path2College 529 Plan, health insurance, credit union, paid holidays, and more.
“People from this area who apply are now brought back to the post that recruited them if they get through this process. Ten years ago, people were sent to openings around the state, but that’s changing now.”
With 52 posts across Georgia, troopers are also able to transfer to other locations during their careers while still working toward their retirement.
Currently operating with seven troopers instead of 12 at Post 8, Rollins emphasized, “We want to get more qualified men and women. We want to have more troopers so we can be more proactive and prevent crashes from happening. When there are more troopers on the roads, people react to that visibility and drive more cautiously.”
“Who doesn’t want to make a difference?”
Other ways to test the waters of a future GSP career include paid internship programs that are offered in various locations like Milledgeville, ride a-long opportunities, or simply by speaking with any of the GSP troopers.
For more information, go to www.gatrooper.com or gastatepatrolrecruiting on Instagram, Georgia Department of Public Safety on Facebook, or @ga_dps on Twitter.