With a venerable history, the New York State Police is an essential presence throughout the state. While the duty is challenging and sometimes even dangerous, New York State trooper salaries are generous. If you are wondering, how much does a New York state trooper make, you might be surprised.
There is a reason the state of New York is known as the "Empire State." Its size, the diversity of its landscapes, its vibrant cities and abundant rural communities all contribute to an economy fit for a country, much less one of 50 states. Its wilderness and state parks likewise add to its geographical diversity.
Enforcing the laws over such a complex expanse is the New York State Police (NYSP). From Buffalo to the Bronx, state troopers are present to execute New York State's criminal and civil codes. The hard work and very real risk involved are recognized in their paychecks.
History of the State Police
The NYSP is over a century old. Founded primarily to oversee rural regions and aid people living in the countryside, the organization was motivated by a 1913 homicide in Westchester County where no local policing was established. Within four years, the NYSP was inaugurated by an act of the state legislature. That same year, 1917, the agency formally defined the duties of troopers and established a Code of Conduct for them.
Originally a horseback force, the department began incorporating automobiles as early as 1918. During the 1920s, NYSP was charged with keeping the peace on railroads and steamboats. The same period saw the organization rise from a department to a division of the state government. The ensuing years saw the state police take charge of prison riots and state waterways.
Air patrols and a Bureau of Investigation soon followed. Meanwhile, by 1948, the Division saw less need for horse patrols so discontinued their use.
By 1954, troopers were patrolling the New York State Thruway, and the use of radar was instituted to apprehend speeding drivers. The 1950s were also years when the state police scored significant victories against organized crime. Over the following decade, a new headquarters building was erected in Albany, while the ranking system of troopers and officers was revamped.
What was previously more of a training camp, a state-of-the-art police academy opened its doors in 1970. The last half-century has featured improvements in policing methods, technologies and public relations.
How NYSP Is Organized
Troopers are at the core of the NYSP. It is the uniformed troopers that are seen on the highways and other state roads. They patrol state fairs, state parks and state buildings. They do so from in the air, on boats, snowmobiles and motorcycles, as well as in cruisers, to apprehend wrong-doers, respond to disasters and manage crowds and traffic.
The plainclothes detectives of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) form the other major component of the state police. Fielding over 1,000 professionals, the BCI looks into felonies and other cases that require in-depth examination. In addition, this organization routinely collaborates with local police and federal authorities to solve complex interstate criminal scenarios.
Together, these two main branches of the NYSP are under the general oversight of the superintendent.
How Much Do New York State Troopers Make?
New York State trooper salary standards were set in 2021. The training salary and first-year "probationary" salary are the same: $58,443 per year. Upon successful completion of the initial year, that annual remuneration is bumped up to $82,677. Following five years of acceptable performance, a trooper then earns $98,315.
These figures, however, do not tell the whole tale. Certain dangerous calls to duty come with additional compensation, as does service in New York City and selected counties. Once a certain number of years passes, a trooper may be eligible for longevity pay as well. If, after at least four years as a trooper, the officer successfully applies for BCI, the starting salary is $104,040.
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