State Patrol Recruiting Numbers Extremely Low

As a kid, who didn't think about becoming a police officer at least once or twice.

Jeremy Thorson definitely did, he admits being a state trooper is in his blood. His family has a long history of public service.

"It's the number one reason that I got into law enforcement in general," said Thorson, NSP cadet.

Becoming a trooper isn't easy, it takes a certain type of person.

"The state patrol in my opinion, they have some of the highest standards for an agency that I have looked at in the state," said Jeremiah Foster, NSP Cadet.

But the reality is recruitment for the Nebraska State Patrol has been way down.

In the mid 1980s to early 1990s, there were more than 1000 applicants for each hiring process. For the class in Grand Island currently going on, there were a little over 400 who applied. And for the upcoming hiring class, so far just more than 100 people have applied. Nebraska State Patrol representatives tell WOWT 6 News, at least 600 more people need to apply to get close to the numbers they need.

So a NSP is trying for a big push for applications from across the state.

"We start out at 44 thousand dollars a year, once you finish camp," said Lt. Kevin Bridges, Nebraska State Patrol. "That is a pretty good salary with benefits; a family can survive on that."

For those who apply and get in, 23 weeks of training begins.

Current recruits know it's necessary for the job.

Graduation means, "I have earned every stitch and each patch of the uniform that a state trooper would wear," said Foster.

One reason it's been difficult to recruit. The state patrol gets nine thousand dollars to advertise for the entire year. Troopers said because of this, word of mouth has become a primary recruiting tool.

If you're interested, the deadline to fill out your application is April 4th. The application is the second link on the right.

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