Vermont State Police starts recruiting drive

The Vermont State Police is launching an intensive recruiting effort for the month of December as it seeks to fill multiple upcoming classes at the Vermont Police Academy, bring new troopers on board to fill vacancies, and expand the ranks of the state’s largest law-enforcement agency.

“We want people to know: We’re hiring!” said Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, director of the Vermont State Police. “We have a reputation nationwide and across Vermont for professionalism, exacting standards and a modern, innovative approach to policing. There is no better time for people who are considering a career in law-enforcement, or who are already working as police officers, to apply to join the Vermont State Police.”

As with law-enforcement agencies across the country, VSP is experiencing a staffing shortage. The state police has an authorized strength of about 330 sworn personnel across 10 barracks statewide and headquarters in Waterbury. In addition to normal attrition and retirements, the state police saw applications dip considerably over the past two years.

State police commanders emphasize that there is no shortage in shift coverage, with each shift fully staffed through regular duty assignments and overtime. But, adding new troopers remains a key priority for the Vermont State Police, to ensure the agency is well-staffed into the future.

The December recruiting initiative includes:

  • Focusing on advertising across radio, television and the Internet.
  • Assigning and hiring extra staff, including a civilian recruiter, for the Office of Professional Development, which oversees recruiting and training.
  • Emphasizing aspects of the organization that set the Vermont State Police apart, such as its CALEA accreditation for high professional standards, and the presence of an Office of Fair and Impartial Policing and Community Affairs, which no other state police agency offers in the United States.
  • Making a concerted effort to share recruiting messages on social media.
  • Ensuring applicants receive personal contact and assistance from recruiters and other VSP members.

“We offer a highly competitive salary and benefits package, to say nothing of the opportunity to serve Vermonters from one end of the Green Mountain State to the other,” said Staff Operations Commander Capt. Teresa Randall, who oversees recruiting initiatives for the state police.

Capt. Randall noted that VSP is open to people from all backgrounds and walks of life. She noted, for example, that earlier this year the Vermont State Police became the first state police agency in the country to sign on to the 30 x 30 Pledge — a commitment to have women make up at least 30 percent of police recruit classes by 2030.

“For anyone considering joining the state police, a desire to make a difference is more important than a specific degree or previous law-enforcement experience,” Capt. Randall said. “There is no cookie-cutter trooper. No trooper is alike here.”

The size of the state police also is a draw to potential applicants, said Maj. Kevin Lane, commander of the Support Services Division. Although VSP is the largest law-enforcement agency in Vermont, it’s small enough that troopers get to know and work with other troopers assigned throughout the state, Maj. Lane said. And that collaboration is enhanced further when a trooper joins one of the agency’s many special teams.

People who are interested in a civilian career with the state police also will find job openings, especially as dispatchers and 911 call-takers in the two Public Safety Answering Points, in Westminster and Williston.

Information on how to apply to the Vermont State Police is available online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/employment. Here’s how to reach a recruiter directly:

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