W.Va. State Police Have Several Job Vacancies to Fill

WHEELING — The West Virginia State Police might be looking for you.

The law enforcement agency has several job vacancies throughout the state, said state police Sgt. James E. Dean with the Wheeling detachment. To help fill them, the state police is testing applicants to see if they can measure up for the available roles. Applications are available at all state police detachments.

Police officers are held to a higher standard than many, Dean said.

“Integrity is the foundation for law enforcement in a democratic society, so that is very important (of the applicants),” he said. “Integrity holds people accountable for their actions, and we are certainly held accountable and we should be held accountable for our actions. Our testimony in court can mean the difference between someone being prosecuted and convicted and going free.”

To qualify as an applicant, candidates must be between the ages of 21 to 39 at the time they enlist. They must have a high school diploma or GED. Dean, who has more than 20 years of service, said the law enforcement agency also looks for candidates who have several core values: integrity, self-discipline, fairness, respect and honesty. Officers also must be physically fit and able to handle the rigors of the job, including being able to spend more than five months in the West Virginia State Police Academy in Dunbar.

Dean said the state police has about 78 vacancies across the state, and two more previous classes are expected to retire soon. With that in mind, the agency has set up two more testing dates for later this week. Those start at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday at the academy, 135 Academy Drive, Dunbar.

Applicants must pass a physical ability test, a 14-minute written test and a suitability test (which consists of reading, writing and mathematical skill abilities as well as the completion of personal and life history). There is no study guide for the suitability test.

Those who pass the first day of testing eventually will be called back for several phases. They include taking an oral review, passing a polygraph and undergoing a medical physical. Candidates are not required to have any previous law enforcement experience.

Once all of those steps are finished, candidates will enter the academy. The schedule is challenging and demanding, Dean said. Because the academy is a paramilitary organization, candidates will spend the first six weeks in basic training. Following that are demonstrations and instruction in several areas, including firearms; defensive tactics; emergency vehicle operations; and accident and crime scene investigation.

According to the state police headquarters in Charleston, candidates who graduate the academy can expect to receive a salary between $3,012 per month ($36,154 annually) and $3,617 per month ($43,414 annually). The job comes with a what the state police say is a competitive benefits package. The agency will place its graduate in one of the state’s 55 counties based on manpower need.

Dean said it the career is rewarding. He said he believes state troopers make a positive difference in other people’s lives and he has heard people go out of their way to say “thank you.”

“I love it still today,” he said. “It is a wonderful career, and you have the opportunity to meet so many different people from every walk of life. Each day is never the same and there is so much diversity.”

For details about becoming a state trooper, call the state police at 304-746-2117.

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