Job Description for Rhode Island State Trooper

General Statement of Duties:

Enforces traffic and criminal laws; conducts preliminary, and as required, continuing investigations, perform other related work as required.

Supervision Received:

Works under the immediate supervision of a non-commissioned officer and general supervision of other superior officers; work is reviewed to ensure conformance to rules, regulations, policies and procedures.

Supervision Exercised:

Usually none.

Illustrative Examples of Work Performed:

  • Wear various Division-issued uniforms throughout the year while performing the duties of a sworn law enforcement officer.
  • Operate a Division vehicle, at any hour of the daytime or nighttime, during emergency situations involving speeds in excess of posted limits, in congested traffic, and during unsafe road conditions created by fog, smoke, rain, snow and ice while simultaneously communicating over Division radio channels. Such operation must be consistent with federal and state statutes and Division rules and regulations.
  • Identify and articulate violations of local, state, and federal statutes and the appropriate enforcement action.
  • Access electronic databases/files to obtain, verify, or evaluate information, to create, edit, save and produce textual and non-textual materials with word processing and spreadsheet software and a printer.
  • Perform office and dispatch duties, to include operation of telephone, radio, video monitoring and personal computer/workstation equipment and related software.
  • Perform related patrol/investigational work as required.
  • Engage in law enforcement functions, such as processing crash scenes, assisting with emergency operations, working security and traffic assignments.
  • Ability to work non-traditional schedule as required for a twenty-four hour/seven day per week law enforcement operation, such as rotating shifts, night shifts, holidays and weekends.
  • Read and comprehend legal and non-legal documents.
  • Operate a radio to communicate with barracks/headquarters, contact NCIC Unit to check for wants/warrants on persons through local/state/federal computer system or request the dispatch of emergency vehicles, such as tow trucks and rescue units.
  • Communicate effectively and coherently over Division radio channels; initiating and responding to radio communications under normal and stressful conditions while operating a Division vehicle.
  • Read and interpret coded materials, such as National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) printouts and Department of Motor Vehicle driver's records, and written materials, such as police practices and policies, and procedures.
  • Preparation and processing of documents, such as, summonses, affidavits, warrants, and administrative documents.
  • Communicate with other state/federal and local law enforcement agencies pursuant to Division Rules, Regulations and Policies.
  • Inspect the driver's operating license and registration/insurance cards of detained motorists.
  • Prepare investigative reports and other documents, including sketches, using proper grammar, symbols, and mathematical computations.
  • Effectively communicate with people, including juveniles, by giving information and directions, advising them of their constitutional rights (when required by law), mediating disputes, and making public speaking presentations.
  • Exercise independent judgment in determining when there is reasonable suspicion to detain, when probable cause exists to search and arrest, and when force may be used and to what degree.
  • Effect an arrest, using lethal and non-lethal force when necessary; use handcuffs and other restraints; subdue resisting suspects using defensive tactics and intermediate defense weapons; resort to the use of one's hands and feet in self-defense.
  • Detect and collect evidence and substances that provide the basis for criminal prosecution.
  • Pursue fleeing suspects and perform rescue operations which may involve quickly exiting and entering a patrol cruiser; lift, carry and drag heavy objects; climb over obstacles; jump down from elevated surfaces; climb through openings; crawl through confined areas; balance on unsteady and/or uneven surfaces; use physical force to gain entrance through barriers.
  • Process and transport prisoners and committed mentally ill patients using handcuffs in Division vehicles.
  • Process arrested subjects, including taking photographs and obtaining legible sets of inked/electronic fingerprint impressions.
  • Observe the physical condition of prisoners to determine if medical attention is required.
  • Use handcuffs to restrain resistant/compliant arrestee or transportee.
  • Gather information in criminal investigations by interviewing and obtaining statements from victims, witnesses, suspects, and confidential informants.
  • Perform searches of people, vehicles, buildings, and large outdoor areas which may require detection by visual observation in varying light conditions, by listening, by touch, by walking for long periods of time, by detaining people, or by stopping suspicious vehicles and persons or by any combination of the above.
  • Conduct visual and audio surveillance for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to maintain a controlled composure when involved in contentious interactions, and ability to appropriately deal with combative individuals.
  • Perform rescue functions at crashes, disasters, and other emergency situations to include administering medical aid, lifting, dragging and carrying people away from dangerous situations.
  • Attend briefings or roll calls.
  • Perform temporary court duties and responsibilities.
  • Load, unload, aim and fire handguns, TASERs and other Division firearms, using both hands, from a variety of body positions, under conditions of stress that justify the use of force at the proficiency levels prescribed in certification standards.
  • Demonstrate communication skills in court and other formal settings.
  • Perform other tasks, as required.

Required Qualifications for Appointment

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Characteristics:

A working knowledge of the operations, policies and procedures of the Rhode Island District and Superior Court systems; a working knowledge of the Division of State Police rules and regulations, policies, and the ability to make decisions under a variety of circumstances, sometimes under pressure, in accordance with such procedures; a working knowledge of the principles, practices and techniques used in the conduct of investigations, particularly those preliminary in nature; a working knowledge of the language used in standard departmental communications; the ability to operate a variety of non-standard issued equipment such as typewriters, computer keyboards, etc; the ability to maintain effective working relationships with members of the Division and representatives of the Court and Department of Attorney General; the ability to speak appropriately and effectively to a variety of individuals and in a variety of settings as well as the ability to read and comprehend a variety of written materials including those of a legal nature; the ability to write reports and complete forms; the ability to assist a superior in supervising the work of subordinates; the ability to maintain composure and interact with a variety of people, including those who may be provocative or difficult to deal with; the ability to accurately observe and recall the details of objects in bright and low light conditions and make decisions, write reports or draw conclusions from this information; the ability to discriminate among sounds and understand their meanings; the ability to use muscular force quickly; the ability to sustain physical activity resulting in an increase in heart rate; the ability to defend oneself and physically arrest; skill in the use of weapons and restraining devices; skill in operating a motor vehicle and associated electronic equipment at normal or high speeds and under various traffic and road conditions.

Education and Experience


Graduation from high school or having obtained a general equivalency diploma (GED) issued by a state department of education and the Rhode Island State Police Training Academy.


Successful completion of Rhode Island State Police Training Academy.

Special Requirements:

  • Must be eighteen (18) years of age, and may not exceed age thirty-five (35) upon admission to the Rhode Island State Police Training Academy.
  • Must be a citizen of the United States
  • Must become a Rhode Island resident prior to appointment.
  • Must possess a valid motor vehicle operator's license prior to appointment.
  • Applicants must complete each of following phases successfully for entry into the Rhode Island State Police Training Academy: physical agility test, written examination, structured oral interview, medical examination, comprehensive law enforcement background investigation, psychological examination and Recruit Mentorship Program.