The South Carolina Highway Patrol has about 200 fewer troopers than before budget cuts in 2008, so it's trying something new to try to bring its numbers back up. It will hold recruitment information meetings across the state, to make it easier for anyone who's interested to find out more.
A new trooper class will start training in January and the patrol is recruiting for people to go into that class.
Sgt. Jaime Cardona, the Employment and Recruitment Coordinator for the Highway Patrol, says, "Instead of just posting jobs on a website and on job openings, we want to come out to the communities."
He says every trooper on the road saves lives by being out there, so the Highway Patrol wants to get its numbers back up. Before budget cuts in 2008, there were about 950 state troopers on South Carolina roads. Now, there are about 750.
There's a class of 42 in training right now that will graduate in December.
Here are the requirements to be a state trooper:
--be at least 21 years old at the start of training
--have at least a high school diploma or GED
--have no criminal record
--have a clean driving record
--be a U.S. citizen
--be a resident of South Carolina for at least a year
--have a South Carolina driver's license for at least a year
--meet vision and medical standards
The free recruitment meetings will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Highway Patrol headquarters in each area of the state. Recruiters will explain qualifications, benefits, physical fitness standards and answer any questions.
Here's the meeting schedule and locations:
August 9th, Troop 1 HQ, 1626 Shop Road, Columbia
August 12th, Troop 2 HQ, 1801 Bypass 25 Southeast, Greenwood
August 14th, Troop 3 HQ, 33 Villa Road, Suite 200, Greenville
August 20th, Troop 4 HQ, 454 South Anderson Road, Suite 400, Rock Hill
August 23th, Troop 5 HQ, 3515 East Palmetto Street, Florence
August 26th, Troop 6 HQ, 8740 North Park Boulevard, North Charleston
August 28th, Troop 7 HQ, 1718 Charleston Highway, Orangeburg
1336 Augusta West Parkway
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