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Career Story: State Trooper

State Trooper

Job Title: State Trooper

Type of Company: The Massachusetts state police.

Education: St. John's Prep, Danvers, MA •• Salem State College •• Massachusetts State Police Academy

Previous Experience: I worked as a firefighter and emergency medical technician for ten years before switching over to become a state trooper.

Job Tasks: My primary task as a state trooper is that of uniformed patrol. I investigate motor vehicle crashes, assist stranded motorists and patrol the highways looking for drunk drivers. Troopers ensure that vehicles on the road are safe and legal. We make sure motorists have the proper license and registrations for their vehicles and operate them safely.

The area where I work is divided into six different regions. I am responsible for over 40 miles of roadway. During my shift I will look for criminal activity -- carjackers, stolen vehicles, bank robbers, improperly registered cars. I assist the local towns within my patrol area and augment the work of their own police forces. Troopers are mobile and are not bound by town lines. We are able to pursue criminals from town to town without having to get authorization. During the course of my midnight shift I will respond to many types of incidents: reports of gun shots fired, possible drunk drivers, vehicles drag racing on the highway, car fires and crashes. There are many more responsibilities of being a state trooper. Once I have arrested an individual for a crime, I then appear before a judge and testify in court about what I observed.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: It is difficult to find a single best part of my job, so I will list a few. State troopers are issued their own police car, for which they're responsible. We park our cruisers in our driveways. When it is time for me to go to work, I simply turn the key and I'm on duty. I do not live in my assigned patrol area, so when I reach the border for my barracks I use the radio to let the Desk Officer know I am reporting for duty. When I am done with my shift, I simply drive home and park the cruiser. Local police Officers do not get to drive their cruisers home, they have to drive to work in a regular car, then change into uniform. I simply get dressed at home and go. Another great thing about being a trooper is I get to help people with what ever may be going wrong: a disabled car, or a car that ran out of gas, stopping drunks, etc.

There are many worst parts about this job. It is my responsibility to notify a family if their son or daughter is hurt or killed in a crash. I see all types of people, and some are just bad and rotten to the core. Many troopers don't get to have holidays off. We work 24 hours a day 7 days a week for 365 days. I sometimes have to work Christmas, New Year's and the Fourth of July. My schedule rotates, so sometimes I am lucky and get a holiday off. We also have to drive through all kinds of weather when the roads are in their worst condition.

Job Tips: Some tips for anyone thinking about becoming a state trooper: try not to get into trouble, drive safe and smart. Exercising will be helpful to get into shape. Troopers do a lot of running in pursuit of suspects. If you're in shape, then it makes catching the bad guys a little easier. Do well in school, and learn a second language.

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