The Training Division operates two primary facilities: the Academy, located in North Chesterfield (directions), and the Driver Training Complex (DTC) (directions), which includes the Driver Training Unit and Tactical Operations Unit, in Blackstone. The Training Division also maintains a satellite canine training center located at the Abingdon Regional Jail in Washington County.
Basic Trooper School
The Virginia State Police Basic School is an intense, 27-week experience that prepares new Troopers for the physical and mental demands of a career in law enforcement. The mission of the Academy staff is to provide a quality program that develops our trooper trainees' knowledge of the police profession and criminal justice procedures, so that under any circumstances they will perform their duties in a professional, safe, just, and disciplined manner. Trooper trainees develop their driving skills, physical fitness, knowledge of state laws, and proficiency with firearms, defensive tactics, and criminal investigation in a mix of classroom study and practical exercises conducted at both VSP Academy facilities.
Learn more about Academy life and how to become a Virginia State Trooper at vatrooper.com.
Basic Dispatcher School
The Virginia State Police Dispatcher Basic School is a 12-week multi-phased school that focuses on the basic skills needed to operate in the fast-paced world of emergency service. During their initial 8 weeks of training, dispatchers learn how to access and operate criminal justice databases and networks that greatly enhance and support the mission of the Department and the troopers and special agents in the field. Dispatchers learn how to utilize the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, the geography of their dispatch area, call-taking, and incident entry. Upon completion of the initial 8 weeks, dispatchers return for an additional 4 weeks to learn radio operation procedures and enhanced multi-tasking skills.
The Training Division also conducts annual in-service for the Department's troopers, commercial motor vehicle enforcement officers, special agents, dispatchers, and supervisors. This serves to update and enhance the training employees receive in Basic School and on the job. Each session consists of a minimum of 40 hours of instruction and includes training in:
- Legal issues
- Cultural diversity
- Blood-borne pathogens
- Mental health and crisis communication
- Use of force
- First aid/CPR
- Defensive tactics
- Officer safety
- Defensive driving
Career Development Training
The Training Division also conducts and hosts various other courses throughout the year, including:
- Advanced Crash Investigation
- Crime Prevention
- Criminal Intelligence and Analysis
- Defensive Tactics
- Field Training Officer (FTO)
- Forensic Trooper Program
- Special Agent Basic
- Staff and Leadership Employee Development (SLED) program
- Driving Under the Influence/ Standardized Field Sobriety Testing
- First Line Supervisor Leadership and Professional Development
- Police Shooting Investigation
In addition to the onsite training available, the Training Division oversees the Department's virtual and online training, which are provided through the Virginia Learning Center (VLC).
Driver Training Unit
The Driver Training Unit conducts various courses throughout the year, such as:
- Precision Driving
- Urban Driving
- High Speed Driving
- Pursuit Intervention Technique
- Motorcycle Operations
- Speed Measurement
- CPR / First Aid / Trauma Kit Training
Tactical Operations Unit
The Tactical Operations Unit (TOU) conducts various courses throughout the year, such as:
- Officer Survival
- ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training)
- Tactical Team / Tactical Field Force Training
- Firearms Training
The Canine Training Section, in addition to required monthly in-service training, conducts basic canine instructor and handler schools for four disciplines:
- Explosives Detection
- Narcotic Detection
Basic canine school consists of 13 weeks (520 hours) of instruction and practical exercises. Find out more on our Canine Program page.
The mission of the Recruitment Unit is to recruit and retain individuals who represent the population our agency serves and are fair, professional, and possess a high degree of integrity and a commitment to public service. The Virginia State Police Recruitment Unit strives to identify and recruit the most qualified candidates for employment, with emphasis on maintaining diversity within the workforce of the Virginia Department of State Police.
To learn about the salary, benefits, and career of a lifetime as a Virginia State Trooper, please visit our recruitment site - vatrooper.com
National Criminal Justice Command College (NCJCC)
Hosted by the Training Division in partnership with the University of Virginia. A ten-week residential leadership course for mid-to-upper level executives in law enforcement, corrections, and security.
Find out more at the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies website.
Youth Cadet Law Enforcement Program
One-week program for rising high school seniors hosted by the Department of State Police and sponsored by the American Legion. Students get to sample the life of a trooper trainee, with daily room inspection and instruction by troopers on topics such as crime scene investigation, officer survival, defensive tactics, firearms, safety, and driver improvement.
Find out more at the American Legion's website.
Student Internship Program
The Student Internship Program is a unpaid program open to students of all majors but giving preference to those seeking a degree in administration of justice or a similar criminal justice program.
- Applicants must be currently enrolled in an internship program with a college or university that will award credit hours for the internship
- Total hours cannot exceed 200
- Student will be required to fill out an internship application
- Student will be required to go through a background investigation
- Student will be required to provide a letter of recommendation from a faculty member at the college recommending him or her for the program and setting guidelines forth for the internship
- Applicants must be 18 years of age or older
Please contact Sergeant Dana D. Estrada (Student Internship Coordinator) at (804) 674-2232 or email email@example.com for further information regarding the Virginia State Police Student Internship Program.