Washington State Patrol Lowers Minimum Hiring Age

By Garth O'Brien | November 6, 2006 
Filed Under OFF TOPIC

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) needs applicants and they need them fast. At the moment they have 29 trooper cadet vacancies. Twenty nine may seem like a low number, but this police force must cover the entire State of Washington. Adding to the immediate pressing need for applicants is the fact that twenty percent of the current roster will be eligible for retirement within the next few years.

WSP used to have a 20 1/2 minimum age requirement. The WSP, from a lawyer point of view, always rates as the more professional and best trained of all the law enforcement agencies in the state. Of course there are exceptional patrol officers in every jurisdiction, the WSP as a whole performs much better at the scene, and in court.

Instead of increasing benefits to attract applicants the WSP decided to lower the minimum hiring age from 20 1/2 to 19 1/2. This will greatly impact the integrity of the WSP. There is a world of difference in maturity from a 19 year old and a 20 year old. My high school graduating class had a few 19 year olds. As a citizen it is very alarming that a high school graduate can enforce the laws and must react in various situations that can be life threatening.

Washington State has experienced many radical and aggressive tax reducing initiatives over the past eight years. Every program and governmental agency is feeling those initiatives choke hold. However, the Legislature should have found the funds to make the WSP more attractive for applicants. I just hope the WSP is very selective of any applicant less than 20 1/2 years of age.

[From a news article by The Seattle P.I.]

DUI Blog Comments

One Response to “Washington State Patrol Lowers Minimum Hiring Age”

  1. Kathy U on November 6th, 2009 2:15 pm

    Garth,

    My husband was hired by the Washington State Patrol at age twenty and a half. He was told up front that he would not be considered for academy training until he was 21.
    He did well in the Patrol and he retired after 34 years of service to the people of Washington State. He was a very mature 20 year old when he was hired. He had finished college and really he was just looking for a job when he applied.

    Now that he and I are pushing 60 years old would we hire a twenty and a half year old as a police officer? Heck no!