Virginia State Police announces change to trooper hiring process
As of Sept. 1, 2017, the Virginia State Police is opening its Academy to current Virginia law enforcement interested in attending a new Accelerated Lateral Entry Program (ALEP). This is a first in the Department’s 85-year history to offer an abbreviated State Police Academy for existing Virginia Department of Criminal Justice (DCJS) certified law enforcement officers. Until now, any applicant for state trooper had to complete the full, six-month State Police Academy.
“Virginia State Police has not been immune to today’s challenging environment of having to compete with other law enforcement agencies to attract qualified candidates to join its sworn ranks,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Despite the salary increases provided by the Virginia General Assembly this year, State Police continues to struggle to prevent our sworn personnel from leaving for other agencies and then to fill those growing vacancies in a timely manner. Many of our field divisions across the Commonwealth are currently experiencing vacancy rates of nearly 50 percent.”
Offering an accelerated lateral program has gained in popularity among other state police and highway patrol agencies, as well as many local Virginia police agencies, as an effective method for increasing recruitment of qualified personnel. Virginia State Police are accepting applications for its ALEP as of Sept. 1, 2017, with the Academy class scheduled to begin in April 2018. Training will be an intense eight-week program designed to indoctrinate candidates into the State Police culture and instill its standards of integrity, professionalism, self-discipline, pride, valor and excellence in service. Candidates are paid while attending the ALEP Academy.
Those selected to participate in the State Police ALEP will be hired to a specific vacancy in a particular jurisdiction within the Commonwealth. Qualified candidates accepted to the State Police ALEP will be compensated at a beginning salary of $48,719. In accordance with the established Northern Virginia pay scale, applicants hired to a trooper vacancy in Northern Virginia will be compensated at a beginning salary of $60,587. Upon graduation, candidates are supplied all uniforms and equipment, including a take home car.
Among the qualifications for the ALEP, candidates must be currently employed by a Virginia law enforcement organization, have at least three years of DCJS-certified law enforcement experience, and be a VCIN Level C Operator. As is standard for all sworn applicants, ALEP candidates will undergo an extensive background investigation, to include a polygraph examination.
For additional information on all qualifications, restrictions, height/weight requirements, etc., for the Virginia State Police Accelerated Lateral Entry Program, please go to www.vsp.virginia.gov.