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Thread summary:

Vermont: find a job, doublewide, law enforcement, health insurance, budget.

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Old 10-05-2008, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Florida
128 posts, read 343,472 times
Reputation: 355

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Hello everyone,

I have a question that might be a little difficult to answer. I'm hoping someone can help me out a little bit.

I am considering a career with the Vermont State Police. I know how much they are paid, but I'm wondering how their pay is versus the cost of living. Obviously, the average person probably couldn't tell me how the VSP pay scale works, but how is a Trooper's "quality of life" compared to an average person with an average job?

As an example, in the state that I currently live in, a Trooper is lucky if he can afford to buy a doublewide. There are very few Troopers that can afford to own a house.

I think I would be better off in Vermont in the long run, but I want to do my homework before I leave the job that I have had for the last 10 years.

While I have you here, what is the public's perception of the Vermont State Police? I'm sure I'll get all sorts of interesting answers!

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:37 AM
 
Location: The Woods
16,961 posts, read 22,282,742 times
Reputation: 9075
What state are you from? The VSP are having some budget/staffing issues right now, don't get too hopeful. They're going to be focusing on the worst crimes and not on less serious ones because of these issues. Public perception? Hard to say, I have a higher opinion of them than some of the local town/city departments but that isn't saying much given how bad some of those departments are.
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Florida
128 posts, read 343,472 times
Reputation: 355
I'm in Florida. I know all about budget problems. My current department has already cut the budget by 8% and has plans drawn up to cut an additional 10%. We have also cut 171 positions in the last year. After 10 years with the same department and a promotion, I make about $1,000 a year more than a rookie Vermont Trooper.

Thanks for the quick reply!

Last edited by JM1822; 10-05-2008 at 12:00 PM..
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:59 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,422,643 times
Reputation: 395
VSP has been and will continue to be short staffed and low paid. Trooper Second Class starts out in Scale 18, check it out from the Vermont State Personnel website. After taxes, health insurance, union dues, etc your net pay will make it difficult to be able to live on the economy as it is now, even with a working spouse. I retired from another state from LE and to be quite honest if I were starting out or seeking a lateral transfer, I would seriously look else where, unless you have a very compelling reason to locate here. All indications are that budgets will get cut and in Vermont traditionally law enforcement has never been a major funding priority to begin with. Another issue with VSP is that your area assignment is up for grabs and depending on the troop barracks you get assigned the region could be tough for finding living quarters. I would have to say that if you have ten or more years already in an agency, are vested, then you had better really think hard about transferring here. Retirement benefits here are not so good and take longer in service periods to accrue than you might be willing to get involved with.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Vermont
1,475 posts, read 3,672,291 times
Reputation: 829
Quote:
Originally Posted by JM1822 View Post
Hello everyone,

I have a question that might be a little difficult to answer. I'm hoping someone can help me out a little bit.

I am considering a career with the Vermont State Police. I know how much they are paid, but I'm wondering how their pay is versus the cost of living. Obviously, the average person probably couldn't tell me how the VSP pay scale works, but how is a Trooper's "quality of life" compared to an average person with an average job?

As an example, in the state that I currently live in, a Trooper is lucky if he can afford to buy a doublewide. There are very few Troopers that can afford to own a house.

I think I would be better off in Vermont in the long run, but I want to do my homework before I leave the job that I have had for the last 10 years.

While I have you here, what is the public's perception of the Vermont State Police? I'm sure I'll get all sorts of interesting answers!

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
If you get a job in the Burlington area, the cost of living will be much higher than most places in Florida.

As for the Vermont State Police, I guess I have no opinion other than I don't like to see them when I'm speeding. I don't think much about them really.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:55 PM
 
1,617 posts, read 2,466,831 times
Reputation: 1352
Hi, I have an affinity for the Vermont State Police; it is my understanding that the Vermont State Police are one of the 'most-respected' State Police 'units', is that the right word in the country. I will also be happy to share some additional insight if you would like, feel free to email me privately. For myself, whenever I have needed them, they have been 'right there'. And, I agree with the above...they do seem to be present when one, shall we say, is driving over 72 MPH!
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:07 PM
 
894 posts, read 1,288,110 times
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Check out the movie 'Supertroopers'
Why not look into MA or NY where police officers can make 6 figures? You could be in VT on your days off.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:36 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,422,643 times
Reputation: 395
I know a Vt guy who did become a NY Trooper, especially for the retirement benefits. However, he is now retired and with the current massive fiscal deficits being faced by both Mass and NYS either there will be hiring freezes or academy slots will be smaller with a much larger number of applicants than average. Of course I don't how bad things will get, but do remember many LE agencies back in the 70/80s actually pink slipping guys versus just letting normal annual attrition lower the ranks. I realize that many people may not be happy in their current jobs/assignments, but especially with switching public sector union jobs you have to keep in mind the advantage of being vested and maintaining seniority at present. As far as Vermont goes it is very hard to guage which jobs and in what numbers will see the hatchet, but the one thing for sure is that sources of revenue to fill the state coffers is dropping like a stone so it is innevitable some very unpopular choices and decisions will have to be made. I know right now the goal for state employees is to try and let attrition and cutting contract employees cut costs, but this is not set in stone.
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Vermont
3,331 posts, read 8,789,196 times
Reputation: 2011
I come from a family with 2 folks who are Vermont State Policemen (1 current, 1 retired) and know many others. The retired VSP family member LOVED his job here and does very well for himself in retirement. Really well. The current VSP family member also loves his job and does very well for himself. I disagree that you will have a hard time making it here on 2 incomes as someone noted above because, as noted above, I actually KNOW a number of VSP members and the ones I know live very comfortably (granted, the ones I know have been with the department for 10+years). I would call and actually talk to some current/retired members for their opinions (if you can find some to talk to). Sugarmaple is correct-the VSP is highly respected in their field.
The advice to watch Supertroopers? Yes, funny movie, but it is definately not representative of the VT State Police.
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Last edited by vter; 10-07-2008 at 08:10 AM..
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:39 AM
 
462 posts, read 846,794 times
Reputation: 568
I was checking out the VT and NY Trooper websites recently because my son was looking for a job in that field. He ended up getting accepted where he resides in North Carolina which is what he wanted.
I am pretty sure that New York has stricter qualifications than Vermont. I think you have live in NYS and have a college education to qualify to take the test.
With VT, you don't have to live in the State to take the test and I don't think you need a college education. I think the pay was good in comparison to other jobs in this State. I think it stated that a trooper can make up to $74,000 a year, depending on how many years he is employed.
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