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Washington State Patrol Hopes Local Tryouts Boost Recruitment

The Washington State Patrol held a physical tryout and written test at Bellevue College over the weekend. WSP hopes to boost applications by holding local tests in the various districts.

More than 100 hopefuls performed sit-ups, push-ups and ran a 1.5 mile at Bellevue College over the weekend in the hopes of passing the first hurdle in becoming a trooper for the Washington State Patrol.

In a change from recent recruiting strategies, the Washington State Patrol hopes to boost applications to become a state trooper by holding the Phase 1 of the four-part application process in the various state patrol districts. Before this year, in recent years, all testing was done in Olympia, said Trooper Chris Bendiksen, a WSP recruiter based in Olympia. 

The state patrol also assigned district recruiters, to give a local contact for those interested in applying, he said.

Phase 1 of the application process includes a written test and a physical test that includes measuring height and weight, a one-minute push-up test, a one-minute sit-up test, and a 1.5-mile run. The qualifying numbers depend on the age of the applicant. For instance, an man under 30 is expected to do 29 push-ups and 38 sit-ups and run 1.5 miles in under 12 and a half minutes. A table of the standards is posted on the Washington State Patrol website.

Applicants can take the written test if they pass the physical test, which is challenging for many. During Saturday's test, about 25 applicants dropped out during the sit-up portion alone, Bendiksen said.

About 2.5 percent of applicants will make it through all phases of the application process, which includes a polygraph, a background check and an oral interview, Bendiksen said. 

"So for every 100 applicants, we'll get two" who make it through the entire process, Bendiksen said.

While the percentage of successful applicants is expected to be the same, the recruiters hope to increase the number of people who apply, he said.

Nearly 175 people signed up for the Bellevue tryout, though some people were no-shows and others showed up on the day of the test without signing up first.

Could you pass the physical tryout?

The following are the Cooper Institute Physical Fitness Test and Norms for Law Enforcement Standards which is posted on the Washington State Patrol recruitment website. There is a one-minute time limit for the push-ups and sit-ups:

Men:

AgePush upsSit ups1.5 mile run 20-29 29 38 12:29 30-39 24 35 12:53 40-49 18 29 13:50 50-59 13 24 15:14 60 + 10 19 17:19

Women:

AgePush upsSit ups1.5 mile run 20-29 15 32 15:05 30-39 11 25 15:56 40-49 9 20 17:11 50-59 12 (m) 14 19:10 60 + 5 (m) 6 20:55

Applying to the WSP

The Washington State Patrol recruiter in King County is Trooper Jonathan Lever, who is available at 206-439-3830 or by email: Jonathan.Lever@wsp.wa.gov. Go to the Washington State Patrol website to find recruiters in other parts of the state.

Jeanne Gustafson February 26, 2013 at 03:42 AM
I understand the standards, but did the WSP give any indication of how many people in the age 60+ category get hired?
Venice Buhain February 26, 2013 at 05:09 AM
All they indicated was that most applicants were in their 20s, though they also get a good number in their 40s, some of whom are recent military veterans. They didn't say that they had a lot of applicants over 60, but wouldn't that be a protected employee class?

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