What are the Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer in Rhode Island?
The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, commonly known as Rhode Island, is the smallest State of the US. It is located in the New England Region with a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and shares a thin maritime border with New York, a region of the United States. The statewide law enforcement agency of Rhode Island is the Rhode Island State Police (RISP).
Founded in 1925, RISP was initially modeled on the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), but later restructured itself into three patrol districts and then to the present hierarchy of Two Districts and four ‘patrol commands’ or barracks i.e. Lincoln, Richmond, North Scituate, and North Kingstown. Additionally, RISP as a special patrol command stationed at TF Green Airport in Warwick
New recruits to RISP are known as Troopers and they are enlisted for three years with the option for re-enlistment based on job performance and a complete medical examination. For a better understanding, given below is a brief summary of the terms of eligibility and the evaluation process.
Rhode Island Police Requirements
Only U.S. citizens can apply for enlistment as a Rhode Island Trooper, subject to fulfillment of the following requirements:
- Aged no less than 18 years and no more than 35 years at the time of application.
- No prior felony convictions and appear to be of good moral conduct.
- Possess a High School Diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma.
- Subject to an evaluation of division physician, the applicant must possess at least a 20/40 vision without correction and no less than 20/20 visual acuity with corrective lenses. Additionally, the applicant must also possess normal depth and color perception.
- Subject to an evaluation of division physician, an applicant must have normal hearing ability.
Furthermore, RISP rules stipulate strict specifications regarding tattoos on applicants, such as:
- Applicant must not have any tattoos beyond wrist bone and they must be covered with flesh covered sleeve.
- No tattoos are admissible above V-neck t-shirt line, neck, face, head, mouth, ears, inside eyelids, wrists, hands or fingers.
- Any offensive tattoos are unconditionally prohibited. These may or may not include sexist, racist, extremist or indecent tattoos.
RISP has a stringent evaluation process consisting of:
- Timed physical assessment qualification wherein applicant must succeed in completing the prescribed set of sit-ups, push-ups, 300-meter run and 1.5 miles run within a stipulated timeline.
- Written examination intended to test interpersonal skills and cognitive reasoning. The examination design, preparation, and scoring are done by an independent and professional research agency.
- Structural oral interview wherein, its design, preparation and scoring are done by an independent and professional research agency. The interview is conducted by a Board comprising of Division members who gauge the applicant for his/her verbal communication, appearance, demeanor, interpersonal skills and the ability to handle stress.
- Background Investigation of the applicant is conducted by the RISP Detective Bureau. Information regarding employment history, criminal history, reputation in the community, military service and overall character is verified.
- The Psychological examination of RISP comprises of a written psychological exam as well as a follow-up interview of the applicant by a licensed psychologist. Moreover, the conclusions of the exam and interview are interpreted by the division psychologist.
- A medical examination of the applicant is also a must. The applicant has to be declared medically fit for duty by the physician designate of the RISP.
Conditional Offer and Recruitment
Upon successfully qualifying the evaluation process, each applicant is communicated a Conditional Offer of Employment as a candidate or alternate candidate. This offer mandates each candidate and alternative candidate to complete a 5-week Recruitment Mentorship Program prior to enrollment at the RISP training academy.
Failing to attend all sessions of the said program and/or failing to qualify the final physical examination results in removal from the selection process whereby the Conditional Offer of Employment is also revoked.