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VSP Unveils 'Pathway To Trooper' Program
Gives 18-20 Year-Olds Opportunity to Reserve Spot in Upcoming Academy

Richmond, VA (March 25, 2025) - The Virginia State Police is offering a first-of-its-kind employment opportunity for those interested in becoming a State Trooper, but are too young to apply. VSP policy requires State Trooper applicants to be 21 years of age by the time they graduate the Academy. The new Virginia State Police "Pathway to Trooper" program helps those 18-20 year-olds who need to find employment while waiting to apply to the Trooper Basic Session Academy.

Under “Pathway to Trooper,” a young adult can join State Police as an Emergency Dispatcher in one of our seven Emergency Communications Dispatch Centers. In return, State Police will reserve a spot for that individual in an upcoming Academy once the young adult becomes eligible to become a State Trooper. The reservation is contingent upon the applicant completing all stages of the State Trooper hiring process.

“We are always looking at ways to get more interested, deserving applicants into the Department, “said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “’Pathway to Trooper’ allows young adults, who know they want to be or are just interested in exploring a career as a State Trooper, to get their foot in the door early and learn about the Department, while waiting for their chance to attend the Academy. We're very excited to offer this unique and worthwhile employment opportunity to Virginia's youth!"

Young adults choosing to go this route and become an Emergency Dispatcher are eligible for a $5,000 hiring bonus. The Emergency Dispatcher is a full-time, salaried position with full state health and retirement benefits and paid vacation leave. VSP Emergency Communications Dispatch Centers are located in Colonial Heights, Culpeper, Appomattox, Wytheville, Chesapeake, Salem and Fairfax.

Once the "Pathway to Trooper" program participant is accepted to the VSP Academy, they will be eligible for a 10% salary increase upon completion of initial training, and a retention bonus of $5,000 upon completion of basic training at the Academy.

Virginia State Police is continuously hosting new Basic Session Academy classes for State Troopers. The Department graduated 52 new State Troopers from its 140th Basic Session in February. The 140th Basic Session was the first session to graduate both traditional Trooper-Trainees as well as members of the “Expedited Law Enforcement Certified Academy.” Members of the Expedited Academy are existing law enforcement professionals who have already been certified by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. The 141st Basic Session is currently ongoing and set to graduate Aug. 23, 2024.

Additional information on the "Pathway to Trooper" program is available online at www.vatrooper.com or those interested can go direct with a VSP recruiter by clicking on this link: forms.office.com/g/BX247B4viM.

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