New York State Troopers have been protecting residents since 1917 and the new Commander of Troop C, Major Jeffrey VanAuken is focused on recruiting a diverse group to better serve the community, according to AllOTSEGO.

Troop C headquarters is based in Unadilla and serves Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Tioga, Tompkins Counties in 3 different zones. Zone 1 includes stations in Oneonta, Greene, Margaretville, Norwich, Richfield Springs, and Stamford.

For young people looking for a great income for our area, recruits in training at the academy earn a starting salary of $58,443 which increases to $82,677 after just one year. Add onto that great benefits like paid vacation, sick and personal time; health, dental and optical insurance coverage; along with "excellent" retirement benefits. That certainly is great money if you are not daunted by the dangers that troopers face each day. They do more than you may realize - everything from traditional patroling to highly specialized investigations.

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What does it take to become a NYS Trooper? The process runs about six months and starts with qualifying.  To take the Trooper examination you need to be a U.S. citizen, aged 20 to 29, with an exception for military personnel, and have a high school diploma or the equivalent. The exam is no longer written and is now taken on a computer at a testing site. The NYSP Entrance Examination is a two-hour test with 150 multiple-choice questions that measure cognitive abilities, along with behavioral characteristics and attitudes. The NYSP offers a study guide for the exam.

Before being appointed as a trooper, there are additional age, residential, and educational qualifications you must meet.. Oh yeah, and then there's that small thing of a physical fitness test which makes sense since being a police officer can be a physical job. The fitness test requires you to perform a certain number of sit-ups, pushups, and you'll need to run a mile and a half within a certain amount of time.

Let's say you make it through all of that, then you'll get a conditional offer of an appointment to become a NYS Trooper, and if you accept, you'll undergo a background check and a medical examination. Providing you pass those, then you officially get hired and head to a New York State Trooper academy where you'll undergo your job training.

I'm certain that the Trooper training academy is nothing like the training in the "Police Academy" movie from 1984...

For those interested in becoming a New York State Trooper with Troop C, visit joinstatepolice.ny.gov/process to get all the details.

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