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  • Career Advancement with the State Police

    I posted this question in the PA forum and received criticism instead of any real advice. Maybe my question comes off the wrong way; if it does I don’t mean any offense. I thought I would post it on here and get a wider ranger of opinions.

    Being in my mid-30’s, if I became a Trooper, can I expect to reach the higher levels in the SP? Reading the bios of the various SP staffs, I noticed most started working right out of college when they were 22 or 23. I would imagine that if I were luck enough to get hired I would be around 35. I figure I would be in my late ‘30s before I would be eligible to be promoted. Would someone at my age top out at a certain point? If two Troopers with the same experience apply for a Lieutenant position and one is 35 and the other is 45, would the younger guy get it because the SP figures he will be around longer?

    I am not concerned about ‘making rank’ and all that. But I would like to go to an agency where I have the same chances of someone else despite of age. I understand this can happen in any department.

    Look, I just want to go out, do a good job, and feel that I have done one thing better for the world. I have been in the military and corporate world, and been in the rat race. I am not looking to race to the top. I just want to be able to be have the same chances for advancement as anyone else does.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Spartan75 View Post
    I posted this question in the PA forum and received criticism instead of any real advice. Maybe my question comes off the wrong way; if it does I don’t mean any offense. I thought I would post it on here and get a wider ranger of opinions.

    Being in my mid-30’s, if I became a Trooper, can I expect to reach the higher levels in the SP? Reading the bios of the various SP staffs, I noticed most started working right out of college when they were 22 or 23. I would imagine that if I were luck enough to get hired I would be around 35. I figure I would be in my late ‘30s before I would be eligible to be promoted. Would someone at my age top out at a certain point? If two Troopers with the same experience apply for a Lieutenant position and one is 35 and the other is 45, would the younger guy get it because the SP figures he will be around longer?

    I am not concerned about ‘making rank’ and all that. But I would like to go to an agency where I have the same chances of someone else despite of age. I understand this can happen in any department.

    Look, I just want to go out, do a good job, and feel that I have done one thing better for the world. I have been in the military and corporate world, and been in the rat race. I am not looking to race to the top. I just want to be able to be have the same chances for advancement as anyone else does.

    Promotion in any Civil Service occupation is cometitive and based on intellect and performance. Just being in the agency does not get you to the head of the class. You have to have time on the job, education, pass the tests, get good reviews, perform in a manner that gets you recognised by those above and, in some instances, be politically in tune with those in charge. Age has nothing to do with it!
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Spartan75 View Post
      I posted this question in the PA forum and received criticism instead of any real advice. Maybe my question comes off the wrong way; if it does I don’t mean any offense. I thought I would post it on here and get a wider ranger of opinions.

      Being in my mid-30’s, if I became a Trooper, can I expect to reach the higher levels in the SP? Reading the bios of the various SP staffs, I noticed most started working right out of college when they were 22 or 23. I would imagine that if I were luck enough to get hired I would be around 35. I figure I would be in my late ‘30s before I would be eligible to be promoted. Would someone at my age top out at a certain point? If two Troopers with the same experience apply for a Lieutenant position and one is 35 and the other is 45, would the younger guy get it because the SP figures he will be around longer?

      I am not concerned about ‘making rank’ and all that. But I would like to go to an agency where I have the same chances of someone else despite of age. I understand this can happen in any department.

      Look, I just want to go out, do a good job, and feel that I have done one thing better for the world. I have been in the military and corporate world, and been in the rat race. I am not looking to race to the top. I just want to be able to be have the same chances for advancement as anyone else does.
      Sounds as if that is the agency you have decided you want to work for. Dont know if you have applied before to PSP but it is a very competitive process. At your age I hope you are considering more than one agency. Look at NJSP and Delaware State Police. All three agencies have similar benefits, DSP has better uniform allowance and take home cars. All state police agencies promote based on performance, ability to test well, and the ability to work well with others. I know at DSP older Troopers were able to move up in the ranks in relatively short period of time. Generally at larger departments the chances of moving up are better. Consider federal agencies as well.

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      • #4
        What the others said, assuming of course that you chose that route that is. Not all troopers, not even all smart troopers ... want or seek promotions up the chain. I chose a long time ago to go for senior trooper and master trooper instead because I like the work I do and have no kids to push through college and I have seen the stress others are subjected to.

        I guess you got the responses you did in part because many take the view that you should first see if you can hack it just getting through background and basic before worrying about climbing that ladder.

        Good luck.
        "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

        "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

        >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

        Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

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        • #5
          In my agency, we have to take exams to get promoted. You pass the exam and DO NOT have disciplinary problems or a lengthy sick report, you get the promotion.

          Does the agency you have in question do it this way or the "i will wash your car every sunday morning, Chief?" type of deal?
          Last edited by NYCTNT; 08-15-2008, 01:53 PM.
          Captain Square Badge, reporting for duty!.

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          • #6
            As has been noted,entry into state law enforcement,and promotion once there, is based on competitive examination. I'm retired from the Alabama Dept of Public Safety, which is a Merit System (Civil Service) agency. My personal view is, that while no promotion system is perfect, the Alabama system is basically pretty fair to any qualified applicant. Keep in mind, the whole process, entry and promotion, is competitive.

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