Trooper Career · Training Academy Overview
The Washington State Patrol Training Division administers all training programs for employees and is responsible for identifying, developing and implementing the department's training programs. The division conducts training at the WSP Training Academy and throughout the state. Training for other law enforcement agencies is also provided by the division, which is nationally recognized for its Emergency Vehicle Operators Training Program.
The training complex, dedicated in 1969, is located in Shelton, Washington, about 25 miles north of Olympia. Facilities include an administration building, dormitories that can accommodate 96 students, classrooms and conference rooms, a multi-purpose building with a gymnasium and training tank/pool, a kitchen and dining hall, an outdoor firing range, a driver training course, and an auto shop. The complex can accommodate up to 120 students each day for training and/or meetings.
Following a rigorous selection process, trooper cadets attend a 26-week basic training course. After successful basic, cadets trade their classrooms for eight weeks of practical instruction with experienced training officers throughout the state. After successfully completing the classroom and practical phases of training, the cadets graduate as commissioned troopers and launch their careers by going to specific assignments in one of the Patrol's eight districts.
The Academy is known for unique types of training. One is water safety, where a motor vehicle is submerged into a training tank and used in underwater rescue exercises. Another is the 2.7-mile emergency vehicle drive course, one of the finest in the country. Nationally recognized, the course stays in almost constant use.
Collision investigation is one of the most notable courses offered at the Academy. The training remains on the cutting edge of technology, investigative procedures, and techniques. Washington State troopers are nationally recognized as experts in the field because of ongoing advances in the program and refresher training for field personnel. The Total Station Survey is a hallmark of the training and covers basic, advanced, technical, and reconstruction levels of collision investigation.
In addition to trooper basic, the Academy supports training in communications, firearms, commercial vehicle enforcement, first aid, basic supervision, management, and other fields related to law enforcement.
Young adults who are focusing on careers in criminal justice attend the Academy each year from communities throughout the state. In addition, Academy staff volunteer in programs that serve the local area.
For additional information, see the WSP Academy Photo Tour.
For questions about a career as a trooper or applying, please contact