By Meghan Duell ’17
I always attended career fairs at Norwich to see where there were opportunities for me to start my career in law enforcement. Among the many agencies that I was most interested in were the state and federal levels of law enforcement. I would always talk to the recruiters to see what I could do to be a part of their agencies. Every time Vermont State Police (VSP) came to the career fair I would always speak to a Norwich grad or another trooper who knew a lot about the application process. And so, I took my chances.
In late March, I decided to submit my online portion of the VSP application, having no idea where it would go. I also submitted seven other applications to municipalities. I received a text message from a VSP recruiter on April 24, one day before the deadline to take the next police exam, asking if I had gotten my paperwork in. I had sent it in via snail mail around two weeks prior but apparently it had never shown up! Time to improvise. The next day I scanned in all of my documents to reserve my slot in the next VSP police exam on May 9.
At this point I was already scheduled to test on May 2 with the other municipality, so all I had to do on May 9 was the PT test for VSP. I passed everything on the 2nd and before I started the PT test, my VSP recruiter pulled me aside and asked me if I would be okay with doing an interview on that same day. So, I agreed to do my hiring panel interview—pending my PT test results—in gym clothes! The interview went on for about 30 minutes and after the interview was complete I was put in a small room for five minutes for the panel to decide if I should proceed in the hiring process. My recruiter then brought me back into the interviewing room and the Captain said, “Your interview was excellent. Everything was excellent.” Their only concern was my ability to run. And they made it clear that if I stick to a strict running plan, I will be good to go by the time the academy rolls around in July, if I am accepted.
They then scheduled me for a polygraph two days later on May 11, which was inconclusive. But, I still had a polygraph test scheduled with a municipality for May 17. So I ended up taking that test and passing. That evening I received a call from a lieutenant at VSP who asked if I could do another polygraph on Friday the 19. Three polygraphs in eight days can really tucker you out! Polygraph number three was a pass.
I was contacted that evening about a background check, and the background check investigator wanted to take a trip to my residence in western New York. On May 24 the background check investigator arrived in my hometown. He visited the village police, sheriff’s department and the NY State Troopers barracks to find any information he could. He visited my neighbors, my previous employers and even my house. He even wanted to take a look at my bedroom and my car, which I was still in the process of unpacking from college. On May 26 I had my physical exam. They told me that I was healthy and then they sent the paperwork on to VSP. By the following Friday I would know if I was to be hired or not.
The lieutenant from the Vermont State Police called to tell me that they had made their final decision on who to hire. She stated that they wanted me “to be a part of the family,” meaning that this was it…this was the call I had been waiting for! She officially offered me the job for Vermont State Police. Jumping up and down I accepted the offer. I met with the colonel on June 9 and orientation was June 10. They explained to us the benefits package, insurance, and support groups, and gave us a tour of the facility and a breakdown of pre-basic, which is three weeks of training for trooper candidates that is like marine corps level PT. I am personally working with three trainers at my gym to strengthen myself as well as work on my running ability. I’ll be heading back to Vermont at the beginning of July to begin the academy on July 10. Thanks to my Norwich education for helping me get my dream job!