This page contains answers to common questions asked by potential applicants and new recruits.
How long does it take to complete the training?
The amount of time it takes to complete the process and become sworn in as a Florida State Auxiliary Trooper varies. The Florida Highway Patrol provides certified instructors to conduct training for the Auxiliary program. We have to have a minimum number of students to set up a class. In the past it has taken, on average, 12 to 16 months to complete the process. However, lately we have been able to reduce that amount of time as we increase our recruiting efforts. Once you have completed your training you will be sworn in as a level two Auxiliary State Trooper.
Will I carry a gun?
Yes, all FHP Auxiliary officers are sworn as LEO (Law Enforcement Officers) in the state of Florida and have authority to carry a weapon. In addition, you will carry a defensive spray (pepper spray) and may carry the Dart Firing Stun Gun (Tazer) for which you will also be fully trained. You will be trained in the use of a shot gun but will not be issued one however, when riding with a full time trooper, he/she will have one. No recruit will be issued any equipment until the FHP is confident that applicant is fully trained in the safe and proper use of that equipment.
Will I be able to make arrests?
Each Auxiliary State Trooper is trained in the proper techniques for taking someone into custody. You will be authorized to make an arrest, however, you will need the approval from a full time trooper or supervisor to do so.
When can I drive a police car?
Once you are sworn in as a Auxiliary State Trooper, you will ride with a full time trooper in his or her vehicle for approximately one year. During that time you may then take a defensive driving class and the LSP (Limited Scope Patrol) class. Then you will be able to ride for 40 hours with a field training officer who will confirm you ability to operate a state owned police vehicle. Once you have completed this training you will be considered a 'level three' Auxiliary Trooper. You will be authorized to drive a police vehicle to assist motorist on the interstate and identify abandoned vehicles as well as backing up other troopers.
Where and when will I receive my training?
Since many of our applicants are still employed full time, we make every effort to offer classes in the evening or on weekends. The ABRC (Auxiliary Basic Recruit Class) requires in excess of 620 hours of instruction (see the "Join the FHPA" page of this web site). In addition, each Auxiliary State Trooper must meet standards set by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for re-certification every four years. Many of these classes are offered during the year in your unit. However, much of the training is now available on-line. If you fail to remain certified, you will not be allowed to continue as a Auxiliary Trooper.
How much time must I put in each year?
You are required to volunteer 24 hours per quarter or 8 hours each month in patrol or LSP hours. Very few, if any, Auxiliary Troopers only put in the minimum hours. There are so many opportunities to participate in special details and enforcement activities, it is difficult not to participate. You joined the Florida Highway Patrol as an Auxiliary Trooper because you have an genuine interest in police work. Most Auxiliary Troopers want to get out and ride with a full time trooper or work the details.
Will I be able to investigate crash scenes?
After you have completed Level Three certification (LSP) and patrolled for approximately one year, you may request to move to Level 4. After taking a 40 hour class and complete 160 hours of FTO (Field Training) you may respond to and investigate 'non-criminal' crashes. You will issue citations, when appropriate, and will be required to attend court when/if the case goes to court. You will also have to commit to being available to patrol 16 to 24 or more hours per week.