Is a Trooper's Job Right for Me?Since its founding in 1935 as the Alabama Highway Patrol, the Alabama Department of Public Safety has evolved into a full-service, statewide law enforcement agency.
Public Safety's employees today share the department's founding commitment to providing courtesy, service and protection to Alabama's residents and visitors alike.
The department's director and assistant director are appointed by the governor, and state trooper majors in merit system positions serve as division chiefs. Both sworn and non-sworn personnel staff all five divisions:
Not everyone has the ability or temperament to successfully undertake a long-term career in police work. If you can honestly answer yes to the following questions, you may possess the character and qualities the Alabama Department of Public Safety is seeking:
- Administrative Division
- Alabama Bureau of Investigation Division (ABI)
- Driver License Division
- Highway Patrol Division
- Service Division
- Do I sincerely desire to serve the state of Alabama?
- Am I conscientious, motivated, responsible and eager to learn?
- Am I concerned about my community and fellow Alabamians?
- Can I perform my duties without prejudice involving another's race, creed, gender or nationality?
- Can I be trusted to work alone with minimal supervision?
- Can I and my family live with the inherent dangers of the job, separation from home and irregular work hours?
- Am I prepared to make life-or-death decisions involving the use of deadly force?
- Am I responsible and self-sufficient enough to enforce traffic and criminal laws working alone in isolated, rural areas of the state?
- Can I exhibit honesty and integrity in all my dealings with the public, court officials and supervisors?
- Can I take command and make responsible decisions when confronted with emergencies or personal danger?
- Can I follow orders?
- Can I successfully undertake the regimented and strenuous physical and mental training at the trooper academy?
- High school diploma or a GED certificate: Must be 21 or older to be hired as a trooper in training (NOTE: This age requirement is subject to change.)
- Must be willing to accept assignment anywhere in the state of Alabama
- Current Alabama driver license at time of appointment
- Must meet requirements of Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission
You can request an offical state application form from the State Personnel Department. To find out more about becoming a State Trooper or to apply contact the Recruiting Officer at:
Alabama Department of Public SafetyApplications will be accepted and appointments made on an equal opportunity, merit basis without regard to sex, race or color.
ATTN: Sergeant Steve Jarrett, Recruiting Officer
P.O. Box 1511, Montgomery, AL 36102-1511
The Selection Process
You first must pass a written examination for your name to be included on a register of prospective troopers. If you are selected for further consideration, you must successfully complete the following prior to appointment:
- Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission Physical Ability/Agility Test
- Vision test
- Personal interview
- In-depth background investigation, including polygraph examination and drug screening
- Medical examination
All new troopers-in-training undergo a comprehensive course of instructions at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center in Selma. Trooper training is similar to military basic training in its regimentation, discipline and physical requirements. Courses include first aid, constitutional law, criminal and traffic law, accident investigation, criminal procedure, pursuit driving, firearms, public speaking, defensive tactics and other courses designed to give troopers a firm foundation on which to build their careers. Trainees intraining engage in rigorous physical conditioning, which includes mandatory physical training and running.
While assigned to the training center, troopers and cadets live in the training center dormitory and eat at the dining hall.
All new troopers are assigned to the Highway Patrol Division their first three years. Each new trooper works with a trooper field training officer for eight weeks to strengthen his or her skills and knowledge on the job, before he/she is assigned a patrol car and allowed to work on his own. A trooper's duties include:
- Enforcing state law, especially traffic law;
- Responding to and investigating traffic wrecks;
- Patrolling roadways and assisting motorists;
- Apprehending and arresting suspects; and
- Testifying in court.
Your assigned location will be for the benefit of the department and you may not be assigned to your home county.
Uniforms and Equipment.
Public Safety supplies all uniforms and equipment.
Assignments and Work Schedules
Following the mandatory three years in Highway Patrol, a trooper may be eligible to request assignment to another division. Assignments are dependent upon departmental staffing needs.
Troopers are scheduled to work a 40-hour week and receive the equivalent of two days off each week on a rotating schedule. Working hours, however, may vary with assignment and emergencies. Overtime hours are compensated by compensatory time off or overtime pay.
Troopers must respond when called to duty at any hour of the day or night and, for this reason, second or part-time jobs are not encouraged and must be authorized by the department.
In addition to a competitive salary, troopers receive daily subsistence pay for each day on duty. (Troopers in training receive subsistence pay upon promotion to trooper.) Troopers are provided with paid health insurance, and they may purchase dependent health insurance coverage. An employee injury program (workers' compensation) is provided for employees injured while on duty.
Troopers accrue 13 days of sick leave each year. Annual leave accrued varies from 13 to 29 days, depending upon length of service. In addition, each state employee is authorized 21 days of paid military leave to allow participation in reserve military duty.
Troopers may retire at age 52 with 10 years of credited service, or at any age with 25 years of credited service. A generous retirement program features benefits which vary according to length of service.
Hiring ConsiderationsCandidates will automatically be disqualified if they:
- Use an assumed name to conceal their true identity.
- Use additional social security numbers for fraudulent purposes.
- Do not meet minimum educational requirements.
- Were dishonorably discharged from military service, or received a discharge under less than honorable circumstances.
- Fail to report all firings and dismissals from past employment.
- Fired from a previous employer because of a proven theft, drug use, voilent action, or any act which impugns basic honesty.
- Have a credit history, which indicates fraud, forgery, or theft by deception.
- Have a DUI conviction within the past five years, or a history involving DUI convictions, or a history of failure to appear in court, or a driver license revocation, or a conviction of leaving the scene of an accident.
- Do not possess a valid driver license.
- Have a felony conviction.
- Have a civil record involving repeated failure to pay child support.
- Possessed or used illegal drugs after the date they filed application with State Personnel.
- Sold drugs illegally at any time.
- Have a history of drug use that tends to establish a pattern above experimental use of drugs.
- Deliberately withheld serious medical information pertaining to the abilities to perform the duties of a state trooper.
- Withheld information, misstated or omitted material facts intentionally on their application for employment or applicant questionnaire.
- Do not meet Peace Officers' Standards and Training requirements.
John E. Richardson