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  • THP and calls for service.

    I will be finishing school next spring, and now I'm beginning the process of looking at state agencies. I do want to be a trooper, but I want to work for a full service agency. I know I've read where THP will do multiple different calls for service in sparsely populated areas in West Texas, but how often, if ever, will you do domestics, homicides, burglaries, etc in more populated areas of the state (take your pick of a locale). I understand THP isn't going to be doing calls for service in the middle of Dallas, etc, in lieu of a big city agency, but is your entire day going to be spent on the highway otherwise? Can you give me a realistic break down of how much time is spent on the highway as opposed to other calls for service? Thanks in advance for the input!
    Last edited by dwhit824; 06-28-2014, 11:27 AM.

  • #2
    From my experience and word of mouth, they don't do any calls for service unless it is a priority call and there is no one close, although they do backup officers whenever needed. I did a ride along with a county and we got dispatched to a burglary in progress. The second closest county backup was miles away, so a trooper was the first backup unit.

    I know you want to answer calls for service, but don't let that stop you from taking a job if they offered you.
    I yell "PIKACHU" before I tase someone.

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    • #3
      If you're looking for a state agency I really think TxDPS is your best choice. From every trooper that I've asked, I've heard nothing but good things, and this is all from THP troopers, and one pilot who had been a highway patrolman for 10 years. And even if you don't like being on patrol, I believe after a certain amount of time (I wanna say 4 years but I can't remember if that's right) you can move around the department and do something else. The list of some of the things you can do are listed in this document: http://www.dps.texas.gov/trainingaca...sToJoinDPS.pdf

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      • #4
        I believe after two years you can transfer to another location as well. For the most part, boundless opportunities

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        • #5
          They are called highway patrol for a reason,from the ones i know its getting easier to get in and thru training than it used to be,dont know that its a good thing or not. But expect alot of working wrecks.Lots of car searches, DWIs and tickets. You wont have alot of time for anything else depending on what interstate or area your located in .

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          • #6
            You might not get many calls with dps but you will actually be allowed to be the police.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jdthor View Post
              They are called highway patrol for a reason,from the ones i know its getting easier to get in and thru training than it used to be,dont know that its a good thing or not. But expect alot of working wrecks.Lots of car searches, DWIs and tickets. You wont have alot of time for anything else depending on what interstate or area your located in .
              Hahahaha every Trooper says that it's easier to get in and through the academy after he or she graduates. Trust me, there's nothing easy about it.

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              • #8
                The ones i know have been in 30 + years and were firearm instructors in Austin.Governors detail also. They claim the instructors cant break you down like they used to be allowed to.That its getting more like the military where its more friendly than the old days. Cant say for sure but from the old guys ive heard it from a few the last few years. Could also be rose colored glasses also on their part.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jdthor View Post
                  They are called highway patrol for a reason
                  I was actually going to bring this up. When I saw the thread title, my first reaction was "What the hell is THP?" I have never heard them referred to as THP. It's DPS or Trooper. And for what its worth, they seem like a great bunch of guys and gals. I used to back them up on the highway all the time when I worked in NW Austin where the longer stretches of highway are.

                  Now, I don't know how true this is anymore, but I think the number 1 reason to be a Trooper would be car chases. Troopers seem to be one of the few remaining agencies that will PURSUE. And I mean pursue for ANYTHING. If a Trooper lights you up, you better darn well stop! You can almost hear the local PDs cheering when DPS rolls through town in a vehicle pursuit.

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                  • #10
                    Texas Highway Patrol.
                    More a generic term as alot of people from other states dont refer to them as DPS .They dont know what DPS means .

                    All they know is they were in Texas and pulled over on the Highway by a patrol officer.When i was young thats what everyone i knew referred to them as.Well the ones who hadnt been stopped by them did.They others had other names .

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                    • #11
                      I'd like to chime in here. I am from the small town of Glen Rose in Somervell county. The two towns down the road, Walnut Springs and Iredell, in Bosque county didn't really have police or a sheriffs office. I recall talking to a few locals from the towns at the feed store. They told me their primary L/E officers for everything is DPS. But in Meridian (same county) is where the sheriffs office did there primary patrolling. From what Ive come to understand many of those small towns cannot afford L/E agencies because they are contracted from the county.
                      I guess it really just depends on the county

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dwhit824 View Post
                        but how often, if ever, will you do domestics, homicides, burglaries, etc in more populated areas of the state (take your pick of a locale)
                        I'll let the DPS guys advise you on how often they get to answer calls. I know a few current DPS guys and former DPS guys who came to my department, and have nothing but the utmost respect for them.

                        That being said, if your goal is to answer calls and see the variety of craziness that police work has to offer, your priority should be joining a large metropolitan police department. I guarantee you will see more domestic violence, robberies, homicides, aggravated assaults, sexual assaults, burglaries, drunk drivers, mentally disturbed people and all around weird stuff that makes you question humanity. This is plain statistics and the reality of answering calls for service in a place there way more people and every call is right around the corner from your last call rather than a drive across the county.

                        And if you really like stopping cars, all the big cities have dedicated traffic units too.

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                        • #13
                          fencipede is spot on. All depends on what you want to do. I work for a 140 man municipality. Bar fights, foot chases, car chases, disturbance calls, and everything in between. While working the night shift when you have some free time, it is time to go hunt down some DWI's or go snag a crack head or two. But with all that fun comes paperwork. Our 12 hour shifts always turn into 13 - 15 hours just trying to stay caught up. It is fun but it is also tiring. It wears on me now that I'm a little older.

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                          • #14
                            Thank you for all of your input guys. And I know I'm going to be doing all the aforementioned with a city or county PD as opposed to a state outfit. I'm from West Virginia, so I know for a fact that our state police does it all, but that's in large part due to WV being such an impoverished state. It seems that on the east coast state agencies function more as a do it all in many places as opposed to out west, which tend to be highway patrols. Surprisingly though, after some thorough research, some Highway Patrols are, infact, full service. Personally, I like the structure of state agencies and the paramilitary environment they exude; however, if I'm going to presumably going to be spending a career with an organization, I want to make sure I know everything that I can about it, and the commitment I'm making. Ideal for me personally is a state agency with alot of opportunities, that does a little bit of everything even if the majority of the shift is spent on the higway, and hopefully an area that fits the lifestyle of a 20 something. With that being said, I know that DPS has a ton of opportunities, but I know you have to earn your stripes before you can advance to some of those more coveted spots.
                            Last edited by dwhit824; 07-01-2014, 04:01 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I think 8116 got it pretty right. In my county DPS (sometimes referred to here as THP) has primary responsibility for wrecks, DWIs, and traffic. But they back us up whenever they're close and it's a risky/high priority call. What they're not allowed by DPS policy to do is funeral escorts.

                              I've even been backed up by TP&W a couple of times.
                              Officer Jay McGuire, Minneapolis Park Police EOW 5/14/2009 age 11
                              Among Texas' finest
                              Deputy Andy Taylor, Llano County SO EOW 5/9/2005
                              Senior Deputy Jessica Laura Hollis, Travis County SO EOW 9/18/2014
                              Darren H. Goforth, Harris County SO EOW 8/28/2015

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