Culture and Society

Are state troopers different from police?
Answered by Discovery Fit & Health
  • Discovery Fit & Health

    Discovery Fit & Health

  1. For all intents and purposes, state troopers and local police may seem to have very similar roles. Both are law enforcement officials who require training at special academies, and both wear similar uniforms and carry similar tools and weapons. However, state troopers have wider jurisdiction. Unlike police, who are confined to particular cities, state troopers' authority is spread throughout the state. Generally, a state has more police officers than just its state troopers; this is especially true in states where there are big cities like New York. Furthermore, state troopers not only wield more power than police officers, they also enjoy bigger paychecks.

    While both local police and state troopers have to undergo extensive training and preparation for their jobs, state troopers receive special training to handle a variety of situations and environments. State troopers generally have access to a range of resources, because they're responsible for providing law enforcement over an array of environments and geographies. Depending on where the troopers are located, they may be trained in aviation (both planes and helicopters), emergency medical services, search and rescue operations, and tracking criminals who are on the run. They may also be trained in forensics to handle evidence at crime scenes. State troopers are also able to provide executive security to state governors. Sometimes they even have proficiency in scuba diving, so they can search for submerged evidence, bodies or weapons. State police must capture drug producers and distributors, and more recently, they must have the knowledge and skills to take on the perpetrators computer crimes like identity theft and child pornography.

    If the word "troopers" causes you to associate the state police with the military, it's no accident. George Chandler, the first superintendent of the New York state police, invented the phrase "state trooper" during World War I, reasoning that the military terminology would cause people to feel reverence for the state-level officers.

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