Frequently Asked Questions and Resources

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


1. What are the minimum qualifications to apply?

 

Must have unimpaired or correctable visual acuity of 20/20 and must possess normal color vision, depth perception, night vision, near acuity, far acuity, accommodations and field of vision including peripheral

  • Must have the ability to read, write and verbally communicate effectively in English
  • Must be available 24/7 as needed
  • Must be available to work weekends, holidays, and rotating shifts
  • Work in all weather conditions
  • Pass multiple physical fitness/agility tests
  • Meet and Maintain the Colorado State Patrol’s grooming standards
  • Applicants do not have to be US Citizens to apply, however, an applicant must have documentation that allows them to live and work in the United States according to the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Documentation is specified by the Form I-9 issued by the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Be approved for employment after a thorough background investigation
  • Successfully pass a pre-employment polygraph
  • Successfully pass a medical exam
  • Successfully pass a departmental psychological examination

 

2. What would automatically disqualify me from the process?

 

We, as an agency, pride ourselves with our reputation, history, commitment, image, and integrity. Your integrity with us starts immediately when you submit your application and the information you provide. It’s extremely important that you be complete, accurate, and your past be 100% disclosed within your application. The following factors will also be grounds for an applicant being disqualified;

  • There are other misdemeanors that are disqualifers through Colorado POST (Click Here)

 

CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR

 

  • Any felony conviction will be automatically disqualified
  • No Domestic Violence Convictions
  • Certain misdemeanors crime convictions, as defined by P.O.S.T., which would affect peace officer certification in Colorado (view misdemeanors which will affect certification.)
  • An applicant that has served in any branch of the military must have been discharged as “Honorable” or had their less than honorable discharge appealed to “Honorable” to apply. If an applicant was discharged from the military under Entry Level/Uncharacterized, their discharge status and reason for discharge will be reviewed. Applicants with a discharge status of “General”, “Other Than Honorable”, “Bad Conduct”, or “Dishonorable” may apply 10 years after their date of discharge.

 

3. Does the Colorado State Patrol have any upper age limitations?

 

No, the Colorado State Patrol doesn’t have an upper age limit. Understand that all cadets are expected to perform at a high level of physical endurance. (SEE QUESTION 32)


4. Does the Colorado State Patrol accept lateral transfers?

 

No, we do not accept lateral transfers at this time. We do encourage former and current law enforcement officers to apply.

 

5. I don’t live in Colorado. Can I still apply?

 

Yes, the Colorado State Patrol currently has an out of state wavier for out of state applicants to apply. Applicants from out of state must be willing to travel to Denver, Colorado during the hiring process. This may require three trips to Denver during the hiring process as you complete the process.


6. How do I start the application process?

 

Applicants must apply online, please go to www.colorado.gov/cojobs  

 Please note: If you are removed from the process you are not allowed to reapply for one year from either: the time of your application, the date of your written exam, or the date of your polygraph interview, whichever comes later.


7. How long does the hiring process take?

 

The process will take approximately seven months to a year from the time of application to when applicants are notified of hire. 

8. When and where is the next test?

 

Testing will be in April, July and October.

 

9. What should I wear for the written exam, polygraph, home interview, and etc.?

 

You are applying to be a Colorado State Trooper and for a very sought after position. You will cross paths with several members of the Colorado State Patrol as you complete the process. You have only one opportunity to make a first impression with each of them. Dress appropriately for each step of the process. You will be required to do physical agility tests, so please come prepared to change clothing.

 

10. What is the best way to study for the written test?

 

You may need to brush up on basic skills, such as Reading and Math. If it’s been a while since you have taken any written exam, you can find numerous resources available that will allow you to take practice exams. One of the most important ways to prepare is to assess and improve your reading skills. The written exam is comprised of several subjects that you can do some preparation. The exam includes the following subjects:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Math
  • Reasoning / Logical Thinking

 

Make sure that you arrive on time, prepared, calm, and well rested for the exam. You will not be allowed to take the test if you are late or do not complete the required forms when you arrive. You will be instructed to reschedule your exam. You must read, listen, and follow all instructions. Make sure that your answer matches the question number. Read each question carefully and answer every question. All unanswered questions will be marked wrong and will lower your score. If none of the answers seem “Right”, pick the answer that is more right than the others. Most importantly be yourself and be honest. You will be notified of your status, score, and the next step of the process, so please be patient.

 

11. What is the next step if I pass the written test?

 

All exams will be graded the day of testing.  If the applicant passes the written test, they will move into the physical agility testing phase that same day.  If sucessful with the physical agility testing, the applicant will complete the pshycological screening.


12. How many officers is the Colorado State Patrol hiring?

The Colorado State Patrol will hire approximately 40-60 Troopers each year depending on the needs of the Patrol.


13. I’ve started the hiring process, but I haven’t heard anything yet. What do I do now?

 

As you complete each step of the hiring process, you will be notified as to what to do next. Some steps have several weeks in between them. This may vary depending on a variety of factors. The next step may also come very quickly. As long as your contact information is correct, the best thing to do is to be patient and wait.


14. Are there any factors that may lengthen my background investigation?

 

  • Failure to have your application complete and accurate
  • Having lived and worked in another part of the state or out of state
  • Military service records
  • Numerous applications with other law enforcement agencies
  • Extensive driving / criminal history
  • Having incorrect contact information for your references
  • Your references failing or slow to return our telephone messages


15. What information will I need for my background investigator?

 

It’s extremely important that the information in your application packet be legible and current. We also recommend that you keep a copy of your application packet for your records. You will be contacted by your background investigator prior to them contacting your references and etc. If anything has changed that needs to be amended in your supplemental application, please contact Human Resources at 303 239-4427. You should be prepared to supply the background investigator with copies of the following:

  • High School Diploma
  • College Transcripts
  • Resume
  • Formal Training Certificates
  • Military Commendations, Citations, DD214, and etc.
  • Awards, Certificates, from current and past employment
  • Community Awards and involvement / volunteer work


16. How long will it take for my background investigator to contact me?

 

The Selection Unit has several background investigations going at any given time. Each Background Investigator has a caseload of ongoing investigations. Your Background Investigator will contact you at the start of your background. The Background Investigators are efficient working their caseloads. However, you will still need to be patient and ready when you are contacted. 


17. I am a military veteran. How can I apply for Veterans points?

 

Your DD214 should be submitted electronically at the time of your application, however, if this is not possible, please fax it to 303-239-4509 with the attention to Danielle Drotar. If you served during a conflict – (does not mean in an actual combat position, just serving in a branch of the military during the conflict,) you will qualify for 5 points. If you were discharged as disabled, you qualify for 10 points, with proper documentation from the military that you’re qualified as a disabled veteran. If you are currently serving and have applied, you must submit a letter from your commanding officer indicating your expected discharge date and honorable character of service and you will be granted tentative 5 points. You must be able to provide your DD214 prior to final scoring to be eligible. Any Purple Heart recipient, with proper documentation will be eligible for 10 points.

 

We strongly recommend that you also visit www.gibill.va.gov for current rates and types of training.

 

If you have any specific question about the eligibility or process of veterans points. You will need to contact Human Resources at (303) 239-4427.

 

18. What can you tell me about retirement?

 

We encourage you to visit our retirement web-site at www.copera.org. You will notice that being a State Trooper, your retirement is different than most other State employees. These statistics are only for PERA Defined Benefit, not PERA Defined Contribution. Please review www.copera.org and if you still have questions please call Human Resources at 303-239-4427

 

State Trooper 30 years any age@ 75% “Highest Average Salary”
State Trooper 25 years age 50@ 62.5% “Highest Average Salary”
State Trooper 20 years age 55@ 50% “Highest Average Salary”

 

19. Where can I find information on benefits?

 

We encourage you to visit www.colorado.gov/dpa/dhr/benefits to view current benefit options and premium rates.

 

20. Can I go on a ride along?

 

Ride-a-longs are granted on a case-by-case basis. They are at the discretion of the Troop Commander. To see if a ride-a-along is possible, contact your local Troop Office.  For a list of District/Troop offices see Connect With Us

 

21. What specialty units does the Colorado State Patrol have?

  • Aircraft
  • Canine Unit
  • Executive Security
  • Hazardous Material
  • Homeland Security
  • Immigration
  • Investigations
  • Motor Carrier Safety
  • Motorcycle Operations
  • Technical Accident Reconstruction

 

22. Do I have to move and where will I be stationed?

 

Cadets are given their duty station prior to the start of the Academy. This is usually a few weeks prior to the start of the Academy. All applicants must be prepared to move when choosing their duty assignment. The needs of the Department determine what duty assignments will be available to incoming cadets. When Denver Metro and Colorado Springs duty assignments are available to incoming cadets. Ultimately incoming cadets must be prepared to move when selecting their duty assignment.

 

When reporting to your new duty assignment / Troop. Your minimum obligation to your new Troop is two years before your eligible to apply for a transfer request.

 

Troop Commanders have the final say as to the Troop Residency Rule. As a general rule troopers are required to live within 30 minutes of their Troop Office.

 

23. Are there any locations in Colorado that offer a cost of living increase for being stationed in certain areas?

 

Currently members stationed in Eagle County, Garfield County, Grand County, LaPlatta County, Routt County, and Summit County receives a $400 stipend every month.

 

24. Will the Colorado State Patrol pay for my moving expenses?

 

No, you will need to make your own arrangements and be responsible for your moving expenses.


25. If I am assigned far from my current residence, how much time will I have to move?

 

At the conclusion of the 27 week Academy graduating cadets must be prepared to start their new duty assignment. Some graduating cadets may have a short period of time off prior to starting their new duty assignment. This will vary from duty station and is at the discretion of each Troop Commander.


26. When does the next Academy start?

 

The next Academy will start in March.


27. Where is the training Academy located?

 

The Colorado State Patrol Training Academy is located at 15055 S. Golden Rd. Golden, Colorado 80401.

 

28. How long is the Academy?

 

The Training Academy is currently 27 weeks long.


29. What can I expect while attending the Academy?

 

While attending the Colorado State Patrol Academy, you can expect to be pushed both physically and mentally; often beyond any barriers you think you have. The Academy is an interactive experience. You, as the Cadet, will be expected to participate. You will be told what to do, how to do it and when to do it for much of the Academy training. You have chosen a career which does not accept mediocrity.  The Academy is Para-military environment; we hold ourselves to a higher standard at all times. Graduating from the Colorado State Patrol Academy will be one of the greatest achievements of your life.

 

30. Do I have to stay at the Academy during training?

 

Yes, the Academy is a paramilitary residential academy. Cadets are required to live at the Academy during their training. Cadets are given a weekend pass at the conclusion of class on Friday and required to report back to duty on Sunday evening. Cadets that live in the Denver Metro area will be allowed to commute after Phase One of their training. Phase One of cadet training may be completed between weeks 8 thru 12. This is determined by the progress of the entire cadet class. The final decision is made by the Academy Director and Academy Associate Director. If a cadet is academically deficient or is tardy, their off campus privileges will be revoked until the conclusion of the 27 week academy. The final decision is made by the Academy Director and Academy Associate Director.

 

31. Are cell phones allowed at the Academy?

 

No, cadets are not allowed to carry cell phones while attending the Academy. They are given phone privileges at designated times. Cadets are allowed to keep their cell phones in their dorm rooms. However, if a cadet’s family has an ongoing or expected emergency, the cadet may receive permission to carry their cell phone during that time. Family members are provided with Academy contact information should a family emergency arise.

 

32. How should I prepare myself physically for the Academy?

 

Your career as a Colorado State Trooper will be physically demanding and you will need to be in the best physical shape of your life! The Colorado State Patrol has a minimum fitness standard that is required to be met by all sworn members and Cadets. You will participate regularly in fitness assessments. The Crossfit training method is a principal strength and conditioning program that is used at the Colorado State Patrol Academy. We strongly recommend that you visit the Academy Fitness Program web page to prepare yourself.  Excellent physical conditioning is paramount.


33. Will I be paid as a cadet in the Academy?

 

Yes, your salary during the academy will be $4,480 per month. You will be paid at the end of each month.

  

 34. What happens after I graduate the Academy?

 

You will be assigned two Field Training Officers, one primary and one secondary FTO. Your field training program can last up to 12 weeks.  You will be evaluated in the following six categories;

 

  • APPEARANCE, GENERAL KNOWLEDGE, AND CONDUCT
  • TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT
  • TRAFFIC ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION
  • DUI ENFORCEMENT
  • OFFICER SAFETY / AUTO THEFT INVESTIGATION
  • COMMUNICATIONS

 

If you are standard in all six rated categories you can be released from the FTO program.  Once you have completed the FTO program your Sergeant will do a “Check-ride” and then you will be considered a standard Trooper.

 

35. What can you tell me about earning a Bachelors Degree while attending the Colorado State Patrol Academy?

 

The Colorado State Patrol entered into an agreement with Colorado Mesa University in 2005. This agreement allows existing members and graduating cadets to obtain their Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice at Colorado Mesa University. Cadets will have earned 27 semester hours.