Law enforcement in the Delaware State Police: State Trooper
Law Enforcement: Delaware State Police: State Troopers
Law enforcement comprises of many departments and agencies which play an essential role in protecting the lives and property of communities. The job of police officers is to protect citizens in collaboration with other professionals as well as community groups. Duties of law enforcers include police patrols, providing first response to motor vehicle accidents and other emergencies, compiling reports, giving testimonies in court, conducting arrests for lawbreakers, and generally ensuring law and order by enforcing the criminal statutes. Law enforcement also includes guaranteeing public safety and inspections within institutions and highways to enforce traffic laws, among other duties.
Law enforcement in Delaware State Police – State Troopers
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jurisdiction of the Delaware State Police was formed in 1923 and covers approximately 1,982 square mile, serving approximately 1 million residents, and an estimated 35 million tourists annually (Reaves, 2012). The Delaware State Police has an employee to resident ration of 75: 100,000, the largest number of any state police force and constitutes 8 troops. The troops are responsible for investigating over 33,000 criminal complaints per year and the recent legislation for ‘more cops’ the state police has increasingly upgraded its capacity to live up to the values of integrity, courage, accountability, respect, and excellence (ICARE). The state police comprises of 28 full time units and 5 part time units, all of which address various special security needs and crimes.
To become a DSP state trooper, one must be a citizen of the USA, attain the age of 21 with a 20/20 vision, and without a criminal record. The prerequisites include an online application, screening, and drug testing. One must also pass both the physical fitness and knowledge exams, attend a recruitment seminar, pass an oral board interview and a detective interview, do both psychological and polygraph tests, pass the Delaware Police Standards and Training Physical Fitness Test (Bradford & Pynes, 1999), enter the police academy for 24 weeks, undergo 19 weeks of field training and evaluation before being deployed as an DSP trooper. Overall, the academy empowers the recruits in acquiring various skill sets such as firearms and fitness training, defensive techniques as well as supervised field training. The DSP is renowned for its military type color uniforms and in 2005; the state police was named the best dressed law enforcement agency.
Troopers earn an average salary of $60,829 (Police & Police, 2018) , and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Reaves, 2012), indicates a salary of $60,300 per annum for troopers and detectives while the upper tier supervisors take home more than $100,000 annually, besides other benefits. Further projections indicate a national job growth rate of 4% from the year 2014 to 2024. Other benefits to DSP troopers include sick leave, paid leave, overtime pay, and insurance. Salaries vary depending on many factors including the location of the workstation, seniority, and tenure.
After training, troopers specialize in particular areas of interest, but all newly recruited troopers must work in the patrol department before going into any specialized field. The available areas of specialization within the DSP include emergency response, fingerprinting, the court system, detectives, SWAT, mounted officers et cetera. Many opportunities are available once an officer meets the eligibility criteria for any given police department and promotions are awarded to senior ranks within the service as sergeants, lieutenants, and captains. These senior ranks are charged with staff training, shift scheduling, coordinating investigations and general guidance and coordination of policing activities. However, it is important to note that these officers need to have a level of experience before sitting a promotional exam, which determines their progression to the next rank on merit. Once an officer attains the rank of captain, further promotion is based on appointment rather than by sitting an examination.
Law enforcement has a broad range of career paths to choose from, and these include Criminal investigators, Conservation officers, FBI agents, Fire officers, First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers, Fish and Game wardens, Homicide detectives, K9 officers, Narcotics officers, US Marshals, Crime Scene investigators among others.
When considering a career in law enforcement, one needs to find the number of factors including the compensation benefits that come with the risks involved in the career path. The work environment offers job security by the US government being the biggest employer. As a consequence of this, government employment gives better benefits than the private sector. Police training transcends their normal scope of work and can apply in many situations that require problem identification and solving as well as public relations.
Bradford, D., & Pynes, J. E. (1999). Police academy training: why hasn’t it kept up with practice?. Police Quarterly, 2(3), 283-301.
Police, D., ; Police, D. (2018). Average Delaware State Police Salary. Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Delaware_State_Police/Salary
Reaves, B. A. (2012). Hiring and retention of state and local law enforcement officers, 2008–Statistical tables. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Washington, DC.