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    Wyoming Highway Patrol

    I have a few questions about the Wyoming Highway Patrol I was wondering if someone could help me with. My wife and I would like to move to Wyoming, but from what I have researched it seems expensive to live there. I have seen the starting pay on their website but I was curious as to what the rest of the pay scale looks like. I have seen some departments start off at the same pay but one department with have much larger pay increases than the other. Also how much do you have to pay for insurance to cover your family? What type of shifts do they work? Do they have take home patrol cars and how good is their equipment? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    Take home cars - new every 2 years. There is no midnight shift - you just take call-outs froim 0000 - 0600. The insurancde is expensive for family, but it pays quickly and reliably. The pay plan here is pretyy much at the whim of the legislature, but the pay has gone up a TON in the last few years. It used to be dismal.

    Retirement is 2.5% per years of service - minimum age 50, unless disability, then 66 2/3 percent tax-free. That's what I get.

    Cost of living is high, depending on where you live. We are an energy and tourism state, so wherever those two things are heavy, so is housing.

    Average decent 3 bedroom house in Jackson Hole? $500,000. In Cheyenne? $150,000

    Rock Springs (where I am) $195,000.

    Much less in farming, non-impacted areas.

    Good luck! The uniform is what I'm wearing on my avatar
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    Whp

    Hey there Jim - long time no talk....

    ftdrum09: I'm glad you are interested in WHP. Jim (aka 1042 Trooper) is a retired trooper that answered many of my questions when I first came to WHP. He had a lot of very valuable advice and I kept writing him questions until the day I arrived for training. (Thanks Jim)

    I was a cop in Houston, Texas for 10 years before I became a Wyoming State Trooper. I have been stationed in Laramie for about a year now, and as for my town there is plenty of affordable housing. A good friend of mine (I worked with in Texas) came up here with me and got assigned to Rawlins - he was not so lucky and just now found a house after working there for 8 months. WHP allowed him to stay for free in a state owned house in Wamsutter while he found a good house in Rawlins.... There are several assignments that come with a free state-owned house (includes utilities). Elk Mountain is one of them (between Laramie and Rawlins) and they have an opening right now.

    The pay scale goes up alot with each promotion, which comes pretty easy with time. You will get regular overtime, which you can now choose to take as OT pay on your paycheck, or bank as comp time to build up extra days off to take whenever you want. Remember when they put a salary on the website, it is only the starting base salary. You get a $75 a month clothing allowance to pay for dry cleaning & uniform issues, shift differential pay for all hours worked between 1800-0600 hrs, On-Call pay for hours you are on-call ($1 hr - but it adds up over a month)... So my December paycheck was over $4000, which is not my best month, but average. Health insurance for my entire family of 5 (3 little girls) runs $143.66 a month. The retirement program is entirely paid for by the state. My Dec pay stub reflects $875 paid into my retirement account on my behalf.

    We also have a deferred comp voluntary retirement account, and if you choose to participate, the state will match your contribution dollar for dollar up to $20 a month - more free money!

    You earn one sick day and one vacation day per month. That adds up pretty fast. Every time a holiday (which pays double time and a half) falls with a workday between it and a weekend, the Governor will usually give a free personal day to make it one long holiday weekend. If you work on that day you can take your personal day whenever you want. If you are scheduled to be off on any state holiday - you can goto work and earn the big bucks for overtime if you want to. We also get grant money to work overtime whenever we want for things such as speed enforcement, construction zone enforcement, and DWI enforcement, etc.

    Wyoming has very employee friendly programs, like the ability to donate sick leave to someone who needs more time off for an illness or emergency.

    Jim answered your questions about take home cars... You order a brand new car when your car miles out at 75,000 miles. Depending on how much you drive, you can get a new car anywhere from 1-3 years. It seems 2 years is the average for most troopers. Your car will be 85-90k buy the time your new car comes in. You get to select what you want to drive - Ford CVPI, Chevy Impala, or Dodge Charger. If you live in an area that gets an unhealthy amount of snow, the Dodge Durango 4x4 is an option for you as well. The equipment is good. Standard issue is the top of the line Stalker Radar. If you haven't been around speed radar before this will mean nothing to you, but it is the holy grail of radars. No shadowing & always displays the correct patrol car speed because it is physically tied into the speedometer cable. It can track front and rear radar targets at the same time - and with 5 windows you can actually track 4 vehicles at once. It also automatically switches between stationary and moving mode when you stop or go... It is awesome. The radio system is Motorola, and we are all getting new camera systems right now that are fully digital with a front, rear, and prisoner cage camera. It has event pre-record for two cameras, and is GPS enabled so if you can see where your car is during the recording - this is great if during a pursuit the suspects toss out some drugs or a gun, or just their McDonalds bag - you can mark that spot on the DVR and go back to the exact spot you witnessed it later.

    Every car has a CB as standard equipment for late night entertainment.
    You may add accessories (in moderation) to your car, such as XM radio, etc.
    Your car is set up to your specs, so you decided if you want a push bumper, fog lights, flashing capable side spot light, where and how you want your rifle rack mounted for your issued AR-15. (Everything in the world is issued to you by the way). Some things are non-negotiable, such as where the rifle release button is located in the car - some things are important to remain standardized with the entire fleet for obvious reasons.

    OK... what else did you ask about?... Oh yea - shifts... To expand on what Jim already told you, most divisions work 8 hour shifts. There are a few divisions that work 10 hr shifts, but that is rare. Laramie is on 8's, and we alternate between days and evenings. I prefer working nights, so I am paired with someone who prefers working days - so we trade shifts and I work 6 weeks of nights, then 2 weeks of days. (Lt wants to see our smiling faces at least 2 weeks of the cycle)

    Day shift is anywhere between 0600-1400 or 0700-1500. Night shift is between 1500-2300 or 1600-2400. (You choose) On any shift choice you may take an hour off to go home for lunch/dinner and expand your shift by an hour. If you eat fast you can take two 20 minute breaks during your 8 hrs (how most guys here eat). Scheduling is very flexible - so if you need to go off duty for a couple of hours for your daughter's church choir performance, you just do it.

    The most important thing to me about WHP as an agency - that is lacking in most other law enforcement agencies... "TRUST".

    They really do trust you to just go out and do your job. Nobody looks over your shoulder or questions your actions. The hiring process is selective, and once they choose you, they trust you to just go out and do the right thing.

    If you have any more questions, just ask!

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    makes me want to move back there.

    Is there a maximum age for new hires?
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    Sounds pretty good from here as well.
    "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

    "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

    >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

    Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

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    No maximum hire age as long as you can pass the physical agility testing, which is not that bad. Mandatory retirement is at 65

    I've had a few law enforcement jobs - and this is by far the best I've ever had and I will be retiring here.

    My first week after being hired, the Colonel (Top of the food chain at WHP) came and talked to us all. There are two things that he said that really stood out and I will never forget:

    1. This is the closest we will ever get to being "self employed" in the law enforcement business

    and

    2. Total and complete trust by him and the staff is now freely given to us. We do not have to earn his trust and respect. Any word we utter is the absolute truth and will never be questioned by staff. On the the other side of the coin, however, is the fact that ever being caught lying or deceiving staff in this agency will then put you in a position to have to earn that trust again- the same trust that is freely giving to you upon hiring... He warned that it may take you till retirement to earn trust back - if you make it that far!


    Some people have done some pretty silly things here, and it doesn't seem that you get fired unless you lie about it.

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    I love Wyoming and I'm seriously considering applying to several agencies there when I graduate from college (1 year to go!).

    But I have a question: I was involved in an accident about 3 weeks ago (the only vehicle involved was mine--spun out into a snow bank). The Montana Highway Patrol came and did a report of some sort, but I was not given any citation for it (for the record, I also received a speeding citation 3.5 years ago).

    So, now that this is on my record, are the accident (and the ticket) going to kill my chances of working for a highway patrol agency?

    And, one more question if you don't mind: How often to they have an academy for recruits?

    Your responses are greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot!

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    Thank you very much TGM and 1042 Trooper for your information. Before your responses Wyoming Highway Patrol was only a possbility where as now it looks like a strong candidate. It sounds like exactly what I am looking for. My biggest issue right now is being able to test out there since I am currently in the Army and stationed in New York. I am slated to deploy this fall and will be getting out of the Army right after my deployment. Do you know if they hold positions for military personnel that are on active duty? I know larger departments do. That would be the largest hurdle I would have to get over in my application process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lt1z28 View Post
    I was involved in an accident about 3 weeks ago (the only vehicle involved was mine--spun out into a snow bank). The Montana Highway Patrol came and did a report of some sort, but I was not given any citation for it (for the record, I also received a speeding citation 3.5 years ago).

    So, now that this is on my record, are the accident (and the ticket) going to kill my chances of working for a highway patrol agency?

    And, one more question if you don't mind: How often to they have an academy for recruits?
    Other than the harassment you will get in the oral interview - it will not matter as long as the speeding wasn't anything real stupid (like 100+ or something). One slide-off in the snow will not matter either... What they really look for in the driving record is responsibility. If you had 3 tickets in the last year - then you would need to worry about it...

    As for the academy - we usually run one per year. Sometimes they will run a second near the end of the year. We usually test 2-3 times a year, and testing is usually held in Cheyenne or Casper.

    ftdrum09:


    If you make it to test, it is possible to hold a slot for you for up to a year. If after a year since your last testing process, and another testing process is coming up, you would have to re-test. Of course - if they REALLY like you, anything is possible. We don't see everything black and white here - even the upper staff uses common sense...

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    I've been looking at departments out west.
    How many officers do they plan on hiring each year for the next couple of years?
    How many people usually takes the test?
    I live in Ohio, how many trips does it take to go through the process? I'm in the hiring process with Seattle, and they set it up one trip you take most of the test, and then get a conditional offer of employment and you return for final trip and testing. It would be great if Wyoming offered something similar.
    I am very interested in Wyoming Highway Patrol.
    Thanks for any information you can provide.
    Pat
    Last edited by pat8228; 01-16-2008 at 09:12 AM. Reason: corrected spelling

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    Things have improved in the four years since my retirement.

    Sam Powell is the Colonel here. I've known Sam since he was a troop in Laramie.

    His word is gold. I think of few people in a higher regard than Sam. He is a cop's cop and has not forgotten what a real cop on the street does.

    One thing about the honesty factor. What TGM says is a fact. You can pretty much steal, cheat and take a dump on Sam's desk - but if you ever lie as a trooper, you are finished in Wyoming law enforcement.

    The honesty thing is cherished here. It is sort of an unwritten code here - honesty is paramount to everything else. Can't shoot? No problem. Can't drive fast? No problem. Can't clean your gun in less than six hours? No problem. Can't testify worth a hoot? No problem.

    Can't tell the truth? Goodbye. And I mean, forever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pat8228 View Post
    How many officers do they plan on hiring each year for the next couple of years?

    How many people usually takes the test?

    how many trips does it take to go through the process?
    We average attempting to hire 10 or so troopers a year. We usually don't get that many that make it through the process...

    I don't know how many are showing up for the test nowadays - but there were about 80 when I tested. They had 11 slots and only hired 7 of us. One great thing about WHP - they don't lower their standards just to fill slots.

    If you are out of state, They will put all your testing into 2 full days. You then will not have to return for a day of final testing & interview untill you have accepted a conditional offer of employment.


    To 1042 Trooper:

    Take a dump on his desk? Jim, you crack me up man..

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    Quote Originally Posted by TGM View Post
    We average attempting to hire 10 or so troopers a year. We usually don't get that many that make it through the process...

    I don't know how many are showing up for the test nowadays - but there were about 80 when I tested. They had 11 slots and only hired 7 of us. One great thing about WHP - they don't lower their standards just to fill slots.

    If you are out of state, They will put all your testing into 2 full days. You then will not have to return for a day of final testing & interview untill you have accepted a conditional offer of employment.


    To 1042 Trooper:

    Take a dump on his desk? Jim, you crack me up man..
    Now you know why they don't miss me much.

    But you know I'm right about the honesty factor.

    Glad you made it on. Is you buddy former HPD too?
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    Hope ya'll don't mind, but I've got another question.

    On the website, it says that uncorrected vision worse than 20/100 has to be corrected but soft contact lenses only (which is no problem).

    However, on the current WHP pdf brochure (from the website) it states that those who have vision worse than 20/100 should not even bother applying. Now, I'm not exactly sure how bad my vision is, but I just would like to know which statement is correct.

    Thanks again for your time and responses. You may just be helping a future trooper out!

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    I'll PM you with a contact in Cheyenne who can answer all your hiring questions...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pat8228 View Post
    I've been looking at departments out west.
    How many officers do they plan on hiring each year for the next couple of years?
    How many people usually takes the test?
    I live in Ohio, how many trips does it take to go through the process? I'm in the hiring process with Seattle, and they set it up one trip you take most of the test, and then get a conditional offer of employment and you return for final trip and testing. It would be great if Wyoming offered something similar.
    I am very interested in Wyoming Highway Patrol.
    Thanks for any information you can provide.
    Pat
    Nevada has a first rate HP as well as Arizona. And they have motors, whereas Wyoming doesn't. In case you were wondering....
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    I've been a deputy sheriff in detentions (non POST) for two years and my wife and I are ready for a change. I've looked at WHP before and I like what I'm hearing on here. I have a few tickets from when I was younger but I've not gotten one in 4 years. My credit does have some issues that happened after we got married but everything is either being paid on or paid off now. What do you think my chances would be with WHP if I'm not applying anywhere else?

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    When I was there, the Wyoming Law Enforcment Academy was in Douglas, Wyo. But the WHP had there own academy.

    Is the WLEA still in Douglas?
    Is the WHP still a stand-alone academy?
    And where is it?
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    What's the academy like for an uncertified officer? I see that it is 13 weeks. Do you go home on weekends, and is it as tough as a lot of the other state agency academy's throughout the US? I'm from a long ways away, but am interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowDownThere View Post
    When I was there, the Wyoming Law Enforcment Academy was in Douglas, Wyo. But the WHP had there own academy.

    Is the WLEA still in Douglas? - Yes. A first-class facility too.
    Is the WHP still a stand-alone academy? Recruits attend the same basic as everyone else there, but then, when everyone else graduates, the trooper recruits get to stay an other 8 weeks for their specialized training.
    And where is it? It's all the same facility.
    Yes, you can go home on weekends by the way. Certified laterals only have to pass a test and attend the WHP portion I think. It's been awhile, but I think that is still the case.
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    Actually - since Jim retired we have a new academy now at Camp Guernsey, which is right outside of Torrington, WY. Camp Guernsey is an active National Guard Base, and it is where all the US Special Forces and Delta Force go to train before being shipped out...

    WHP is a resident agency there and has its own academy. You still go to WLEA (Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy) in Douglas, WY with all other state agencies for your basic POST certification... then you move over to the WHP academy for "WHP Basic".

    Jim is still correct about a prior POST certified officer being able to take a challenge course (2 weeks) and challenge the Wyoming POST test to avoid the entire basic POST academy. You actually go to the WHP academy first, and then do your FTO out in the field, and then go back to Douglas for the challenge course... You have 1 year to do the challenge & WHP gets you a temporary license until that time.

    This is what makes Wyoming State Patrol so inviting to experienced and certified peace officers - you don't have to repeat all the basic stuff you already had and know (Unlike most other state agencies).

    Jim - if you didn't know, Chris Shell (Casper) is now the Sgt. over the academy. Things have changed a bit and it is a little tougher (military style) than it used to be - it is still much less military then most other states. You will be treated like a human during the entire thing.
    Last edited by TGM; 01-18-2008 at 03:00 AM. Reason: added info

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    I'm sorry if I misunderstood. Is the entire academy for uncertified 13 weeks, or is that just the HP part? What is the total length for basic HP training, not including FTO? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TGM View Post
    Actually - since Jim retired we have a new academy now at Camp Guernsey, which is right outside of Torrington, WY. Camp Guernsey is an active National Guard Base, and it is where all the US Special Forces and Delta Force go to train before being shipped out...
    Tee hee This is funny. Actually, our academy used to be at Guernsey when I came on - that's where I went to it. Then we started using Doogleville. I am glad to see we have re-taken Camp Guernsey. Snake Central - watch out!

    This is what makes Wyoming State Patrol so inviting to experienced and certified peace officers - you don't have to repeat all the basic stuff you already had and know (Unlike most other state agencies).

    Jim - if you didn't know, Chris Shell (Casper) is now the Sgt. over the academy. Things have changed a bit and it is a little tougher (military style) than it used to be - it is still much less military then most other states. You will be treated like a human during the entire thing.
    How'd that happen? When I was an instructor we treated recruits like the turds turds they were! Just kidding.
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    I'd love to test with WYHP but I will be testing in Iowa on those days. Do they only test once a year?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gloriavoxdei View Post
    I've been a deputy sheriff in detentions (non POST) for two years and my wife and I are ready for a change. I've looked at WHP before and I like what I'm hearing on here. I have a few tickets from when I was younger but I've not gotten one in 4 years. My credit does have some issues that happened after we got married but everything is either being paid on or paid off now. What do you think my chances would be with WHP if I'm not applying anywhere else?
    Sorry - somehow I missed this previous question:

    Tickets: None in 4 years is a good thing and a "few" tickets prior to that will be fine.

    Credit: They do check your credit history in the background check. They will talk to you about outstanding debts. If at the time of that interview, you have something worked out, even if it is paying $5 a month on each of them, that's what they like to see. They are not going to loan you money, so they don't look at your credit report like a creditor - they look for integrity. If you have debts - so what, who doesn't. What they want to see is that you have the integrity and character to not ignore the issue, and to have some type of active plan to take care of it. There was a guy in my class that had two bad debt write-offs... but he had payment plans with the companies set up prior to the interview and did fine.

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