The WSP Training Division administers all training programs for WSP employees and identifies agency training needs in order to develop and implement programs conducted at the Academy and throughout the state. The division provides training for other law enforcement agencies as well and is recognized as one of the finest public safety training institutions in the nation.
The WSP Academy is located at 631 W Dayton Airport Road, Shelton, WA 98584 and is situated amid 190 acres of evergreen forests with occasional vistas of the Olympic Mountains. Initially dedicated in 1969, the training complex includes: an administration building, dormitories for 96 live-in students, a multi-purpose building with a gymnasium and water training tank, a kitchen and dining hall, an outdoor firing range, a driver training course, an auto shop, as well as several classrooms and conference rooms. The facility can accommodate up to 120 students each day for training and meetings.
Trooper Cadet Training
Following a rigorous selection process, trooper cadets attend a 26-week basic training course. During the basic course, cadets undergo approximately 300 hours of classroom training. This training requires that the cadets learn state laws, WSP procedures and tests their ability to apply this knowledge to practical law enforcement exercises. Trooper cadets are required to stay on campus during the week, and are free to go home on the weekends and for holidays.
WSP cadets are also taught a variety of defensive tactics at the Academy, such as personal weapons, OC-10, ASP baton, and taser training. This training ensures officers understand their own capabilities, the functionality of the belt weapons they carry, and the limitations associated with their use. In addition, officers are taught how to utilize de-escalation skills and use the least amount of force to gain compliance. If compliance is not gained officers are trained to utilize an appropriate level of force.
After every Trooper Basic Cadet Class, the Academy hosts an open house and awards ceremony followed by the graduation ceremony, which is held at the Rotunda of the Washington State Capitol building in Olympia. At the graduation, Trooper Cadets march in formation from the Capital campus parking to the Rotunda. The ceremony opens with the WSP Honor Guard and National Anthem, followed by the swearing in of the new officers by the Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Collision Investigation Training
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 Patrol Troopers are nationally recognized as experts in the field because of ongoing advances in the program and the refresher training provided to field personnel. Troopers trained at the basic, advanced, technical, and reconstruction levels of collision investigation are trained to utilized technologies including total stations, 3D scanners, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
The WSP Academy is home to the Canine Training facility, which provides training for the many narcotics and explosive detection dogs in the WSP workforce. This facility is fully equipped with a training building, classroom, and kennels that allow the handlers to provide the most thorough, detailed, and specific training in the county. In addition to training WSP canines, the facility and trainers are requested by external agencies for their canine training programs as well.
Communications Officer Training
Communications Officers (COs) receive both on the job training and Academy training. COs will start in their assigned center for one-on-one on the job training for their first 4-6 weeks, then come to the Academy for 2 weeks for classroom training which includes classes such as Computer Aided Dispatch, Call Processing, History of 911 and WSP, Domestic Violence and High Risk Calls.
COs then return to their center for 6-8 weeks to put to practice what they learned and begin learning radio dispatching; they come back to the Academy for 2 more weeks of classroom time which includes classes such as Emergency Procedures, Active Threat/Shooter, Liability, AMBER Alerts and go through a series of simulated 911 calls and simulated radio dispatching scenarios.
The Academy for Communications uses a variety of teaching tools; real audio, videos, guest instructors, simulators, group discussions and presentations to appeal to all learning types.
At the end of the Academy a Communications Officer has completed all their required certifications, taken all necessary tests and completed all the “bookwork” behind the job. The entire training process takes on average 4-6 months, before they are released from training and allowed to operate a console on their own.
While in training at the academy, CO’s can either stay at the Academy or choose to commute. It is encouraged that the CO’s choose to stay, as the teams tend to be stronger and everyone does better on exams.
Commercial Vehicle Officer Enforcement Training
The CVEO basic training course is a thirteen week training program that is held at the WSP Academy. It is designed to train employees in the skills that are necessary to perform the duties of a CVEO 1. This includes first aid, firearms training, defensive tactics, defensive driving as well as training in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) inspection procedures. CVEO students are required to stay on campus during the week, and are free to go home on the weekends and for holidays.
After the completion of the CVEO basic training course, a graduation ceremony is held at the WSP Academy where the new CVEOs will be sworn in by the Chief of the WSP.
Other Specialized Training
The WSP Academy also offers Field Training Officer Training, Leadership Training, Drug Recognition Expert Training, Interview and Interrogation Training, Hazordous Material Training, Emergency Vehicle Operator’s Course Training and other specialized and/or advanced level training activities.
The classroom facilities are equipped with multimedia capabilities and other learning resources depending on the course of study. In addition, the academy also has its own computer lab which is used for agency training and external organizations.
A well-known feature of the WSP Academy is the 2.7-mile emergency vehicle drive course, which is one of the finest in the country. The nationally recognized course remains in constant use for driving instruction as well as providing a realistic environment for other aspects of WSP training.
The Academy is known for several unique types of training. A large water safety training tank is used to teach water safety and underwater vehicle passenger extraction and rescue techniques. In addition, officers are also trained in how to use their weapons in a water environment and the proper techniques for suspect apprehension in and around the water.
Multipurpose Building & Gymnasium
The WSP Academy has a workout facility and weight machines that students can use throughout their training. The gymnasium functions as a multiple use facility for defensive tactics training, physical fitness activities, group meetings, and other ceremonies. The Academy is also equipped with a variety of defensive training tools such as a firearms simulator and punching dummies.
The WSP Training Academy features its own firing range where students and other law enforcement officers are trained on the use of a variety of weapons. The firearms training at the Academy includes close range shooting, long distance shooting, night firearms, sniper training, and scenario training using the VirTra 300 judgment simulator.
The WSP Academy is equipped with living facilities that can house up to 94 personnel at any given time. These facilities include dorm rooms with two single beds, closets and a sink; study facilities with computer and internet access; lounge rooms and shower facilities. The Academy has its own cafeteria and kitchen facilities. The kitchen staff cooks and serves three meals every day at the WSP Academy. The cafeteria and living facilities may be used by external agencies when available.