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Originally published Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 8:56 PM

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Troopers needed: State Patrol in a hiring mode

In a time of prolonged unemployment, the Washington State Patrol says it has about 60 trooper jobs available, and the agency is working hard to attract applicants. The next test is at 8 a.m. Saturday at the WSP Training Academy, 631 West Dayton-Airport Road in Shelton, Mason County.

In a time of prolonged unemployment, the Washington State Patrol says it has about 60 trooper jobs available, and the agency is working to attract applicants.

The next test is at 8 a.m. Saturday at the WSP Training Academy, 631 West Dayton-Airport Road in Shelton, Mason County.

Both written and fitness tests will be given. Those interested must first download an application from www.wsp.wa.gov and then turn it in.

The State Patrol has added several new features to the website, including videos and self-guided screens showing what a trooper's job is like.

At the top of the home page, click on the box on the right that shows a trooper and patrol car and asks, "Do you have what it takes?"

About one-third of applicants fail the physical part of the test, which involves how many push-ups they can do in one minute, how many sit-ups in a minute, and the time it takes them to run 1 ½ miles.

The physical test uses Cooper Institute fitness assessments, with different requirements based on sex and age group. Those who fail can try again later.

The State Patrol requires that applicants have completed high school, but doesn't require college. Applicants must be at least 19, U.S. citizens and have a valid driver's license.

Troopers can retire after 25 years and must retire at age 65. The 60 open trooper positions are the result of a large number of retirements, officials say.

Once past the first part, there are medical and psychological exams, interviews and polygraph and background tests.

Felony convictions disqualify candidates, but the State Patrol is tolerant of some lesser misdemeanor convictions in the past. The agency doesn't tolerate any lying, and has ways of learning the truth, said spokesman Dan Coon.

Applicants who are hired as cadets to attend the 26-week State Patrol academy this spring are paid about $39,000 per year. Those who complete the academy successfully become troopers, with starting pay of about $47,000 per year, which can rise to $68,000, and more when they are promoted to higher ranks.

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When people think of troopers, it's often about traffic enforcement and investigating crashes. But there are other assignments: aviation, K-9 teams, detectives who investigate drugs and organized crime, explosives disposal and SWAT.

Trainers look for applicants who have common sense, know what's right and take initiative making decisions.

The State Patrol has other jobs, too. Those interested can call Trooper Dena Hazuka at 360-239-4904 or e-mail dena.hazuka@wsp.wa.gov.

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