How To Apply

Applications may be downloaded from this web site. (See the Important Documents link at the bottom of this page.)  Applications are also available throughout the state at all DSP troops, as well as at Headquarters in Dover. In order to be eligible to compete in the selection process, applicants must submit a completed application to:

Delaware State Police
Human Resources Office
PO Box 430
Dover, DE 19903


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Qualifications (updated November, 2011)

Candidates must meet the following requirements prior to submitting an application:

Citizenship - Applicant must be a United States citizen.

Age - Applicants must reach their 21st birthday prior to completion of the Academy training, and must not be older than 39 on the first day of the Academy.

Education - Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, and must have attained a minimum of 60 semester credits, or 90 quarter credits, from an accredited college or university OR one that is recognized by the U. S. Department of Higher Education OR 30 college credits along with two years of active duty military service.

An applicant with 30 college credits and any of the below-listed experience will be eligible for an accelerated Academy curriculum: 

  • two years (post-training) as a full-time, Delaware-certified police officer.
  • or two years of full-time (post-training) experience as a state trooper from another state, having completed a paramilitary live-in state training academy. 
(To compete for the rank of Sergeant, 60 college credits are required. A Bachelor's Degree is required to compete for the ranks of Lieutenant and above.)

Residence - There is no residency requirement at time of application. However, Delaware residency is required by the completion of the academy training, prior to field training. Troopers are subject to assignment in any part of the state.

Driver's License - Applicants must have a current valid driver's license and at least one year of driving experience. An applicant with a prior driving suspension or revocation must have one year of reinstatement in order to be eligible to apply. Any alcohol-related driving arrests and overall driving history will be subject to review.

Criminal Record and Activity - Any felony conviction is an automatic disqualification. Any criminal activity that would be considered a felony under Delaware law or the law of the state in which the activity occurred is a disqualification. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for an expungement on any past misdemeanor arrests. All arrests will be subject to evaluation.

Drug Usage - Use of any illegal drug two years prior to application, or any prior use of a hallucinogenic drug, will be an automatic disqualification. All other drug use, including illegally using prescribed drugs, is subject to review.

*Weight - Weight must be in compliance with the Delaware State Police weight chart or maximum allowed body fat percentage. (See Weight Standards under the Important Documents link at the bottom of the page.)

*Hearing - Normal hearing.

*Vision - Visual acuity can be no worse than 20/40 in each eye, uncorrected, and must be corrected to 20/20 with glasses or gas permeable contacts; or no worse than 20/200 in each eye uncorrected and must be corrected to 20/20 with soft contacts lenses only. Normal color vision and normal depth perception are required.

*(Following an offer of employment, the selected applicants will be examined by the Division's heath providers for compliance with the above requirements, and will be given a complete medical examination to determine if the applicant is able to perform essential job functions.)

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Job Elements

To perform the duties of State Trooper, an applicant must demonstrate good judgment, thoroughness, conscientiousness, common sense, motivation, and enthusiasm for the job. Troopers must be dependable and willing to get involved in order to help deal with the problems of today's society. Troopers must be able to assume responsibility, make decisions often under pressure, work without supervision, follow orders, function in physical danger, act under pressure, communicate well, and combine physical and mental resources.

Duties and Responsibilities - A Delaware State Trooper performs the following duties of patrol, investigation, troop duties, maintenance activities, and special assignments:

  • Patrol duties involve directing traffic, assisting lost, stranded or disabled motorists, approaching motorists on routine or non-routine violations, making arrests, processing prisoners, controlling crowds, and supporting other troopers in stressful situations. Other patrol duties involve inspecting and safeguarding property, responding to bank alarms, chasing violators on foot, and checking buildings at night for burglaries. Investigative duties include interviewing complainants and witnesses, interrogating suspects, aiding injured people, handling motor vehicle crashes and crime scenes, responding to complaints involving vicious animals, using deadly force, and executing search and seizure warrants, as well as arrest warrants.
  • Troopers are required to perform troop duties such as sending and receiving radio, phone and electronic messages; maintaining troop records, responding to telephone inquires concerning such things as road conditions, locations, and the law; and preparing written memoranda and reports.
  • Troopers must maintain a good personal appearance and physical condition. Troopers are tested on a regular basis throughout their career to ensure they maintain sufficient aerobic capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, coordination, flexibility, percentage of body fat, and sufficient levels of neurological senses to safety and effectively perform job functions. Other responsibilities include proper care of division equipment, uniforms, and vehicles; and maintaining a clean and orderly troop.
  • Assignments are varied and may include testifying in court, securing major disaster areas, participating in community and public relations programs, escorting dignitaries, conducting speeches or lectures, training recruits and or counseling youth. Scheduling includes working weekends, holidays, overtime, and in inclement weather. Assignments may be physically demanding including shift work. Patrol officers normally work a 12-hour rotating shift, working a maximum of 3 consecutive days. Troopers are frequently required to either substantially delay or forego regular meals.

The duties of a trooper may become unpredictably hazardous and require acute use of senses to discern various stimuli of danger. Troopers typically operate alone, and backup assistance is frequently not immediately available. Troopers are often required, without preparation, to run long distances, traverse rough terrain quickly, climb obstacles, remove injured or unconscious people from harm's way, engage in physical confrontations using offensive and defensive tactics to subdue combative individuals, and to effect forceful arrests.

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  • Competitive salary - During training $45,650.  After training, $54,115.
  • Excellent pension plan - (Mandatory retirement at 55, the option to retire at 20 years, further details are available upon request or should be referred to the Pension Office and/or their website)
  • 12-hour shifts with option of standby status for court.
  • State-share health insurance.
  • Division-issued equipment and uniforms, with dry cleaning delivered to the troop.
  • Liberal vacation and sick leave.
  • College tuition assistance. *Contingent upon funding.
  • Take-home car with state-of-the-art information technology after 24 months. *Contingent upon satisfactory job performance and available fleet.
  • Deferred Compensation/Investment Plan.
  • Tax-deferred medical/child care program.
  • Blood Bank membership.
  • Eligible membership for employee's credit union.

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Selection Process

The selection process for the position of Trooper includes the following:

  • Written Examination
  • Physical Fitness Test
  • Oral Board Interview
  • Polygraph Examination
  • Background Investigation

The Written Examination consists of the following three multiple-choice instruments:

  • Written Test: Measures cognitive abilities in the areas of memorization, visualization, reasoning, spatial orientation, written expression, written comprehension, problem sensitivity and information ordering.
  • Work Styles Inventory: Measures motivational, value-related and attitudinal characteristics.
  • Life Experience Survey: Measures past history and experience.

The Physical Fitness Test evaluates applicants on the following:

  • Aerobic Capacity: 1.5 Mile Run
  • Strength: Push-ups (as many as possible in one minute)
  • Endurance: Sit-ups (as many as possible in one minute)

See the Important Docs link at the bottom of the page for DSP PT Minimum Requirements and for the required format of each exercise.**

The Oral Board Interview measures the ability to communicate information or ideas to other people in the areas of comprehension and reasoning, oral expression, interpersonal interactions, decision-making and initiating action.

The Polygraph Interview focuses on the areas of criminal activity, drug usage, employment history, financial decision-making and driving history.

The Background Investigation includes another in-depth interview with the candidate, as well as multiple interviews with the candidate's family, friends, neighbors, supervisors, co-workers, acquaintances, etc. The investigator will also verify the candidate's education, employment, military, financial, criminal and traffic history.

A conditional offer of employment to selected applicants will be contingent upon the successful completion of a comprehensive medical examination, eye examination, psychological examination, and a final physical fitness assessment.

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Training Academy

The Delaware State Police Training Academy is located in Dover, the capitol of Delaware, and has long been recognized as a leader in the field of training recruits and in-service personnel.

Recruits reside full-time (with weekends off) at the training facility for approximately 22 weeks of intensive and comprehensive police training. Studies involve a wide variety of topics including tactics, laws of arrest, criminal procedures, search and seizure, emergency vehicle operations, first aid, verbal judo, computer science, firearms proficiency, cultural diversity, and crisis intervention. Recruits must be willing and able to receive oleoresin capsicum (O.C.) spray, as well as incapacitation from an electronic control device (Taser).

Upon successful completion of the live-in academy, the Recruit Trooper is assigned to one or more various troop locations for an additional 12 weeks of Field Training with veteran officers.

Applicants must obtain Delaware residency and a Delaware driver's license prior to their Field Training assignment.

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Cadet Program

In 1998, the Delaware State Police Cadet Program was authorized under the enabling legislation of House Bill # 478, which passed both houses during the 139th Session of the General Assembly.

Minimum Qualifications includes:

  • Education- Candidates must be currently enrolled in a Delaware college or university (full-time or part-time).
  • Age- Candidates must be between the ages of 18-21.
  • Citizenship- Candidates must be a citizen of the United States.
  • Driver's License- Candidates must possess a valid driver's license.

Selection Process includes:

  • A formal State of Delaware application.
  • A Physical Fitness Test.
  • An Oral Board Interview.
  • A Background Check.
  • A Polygraph.

Those candidates who demonstrate a degree of professionalism, skill, and character are representative of the qualities valued by the department and its members. Cadets receive their training at the Delaware State Police Training Academy, which includes 36 hours of classroom and practical training. Once hired and trained, the cadets are considered part-time seasonal employees and work between 10-15 hours per week while completing their college degrees.

HB 478 authorizes cadets to enforce handicapped parking and fire lane violations while allowing troopers to enforce other criminal and traffic laws as well as engage in a myriad of community initiatives.

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College Internships

The Delaware State Police promotes higher education, by inviting college students to complete internships within the department. College interns have an opportunity to enrich their academic experience by being assigned to various Troops and specialized sections throughout the division.

The deadline for submitting spring internship applications is January 1st. The deadline for submitting fall internship applications is July 1st.

College intern candidates must:

  • Attending a Delaware college or university OR be a state of Delaware resident.
  • Receive college credit for serving an internship.
  • Complete a State of Delaware application.
  • Undergo a criminal background check.
  • Participate in a one-on-one interview with the internship coordinator.
  • Be aware that DSP internships are unpaid positions and are available on a limited basis, dependent upon operational need.

Applications are available online Download Here

The college internship program coordinator will facilitate the internship while communicating with the involved college or university to monitor progress.

For more information on an internship contact:
Lt. Tracy Condon

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Important Documents
Trooper Application   PT Requirements  Oral Board Study Guide  Height/Weight Standards


Last Updated: Thursday, 13-Nov-2014 14:39:52 EST
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