‘We want good people’: NC Highway Patrol facing historical shortage of troopers
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is experiencing the worst shortage of troopers in recent history.
The State Highway Patrol currently has more than 200 openings for troopers, and leaders said it’s part of a nationwide shortage. In times of emergencies--like after Hurricane Florence--it’s critical to have as many people as possible.
Sgt. Christopher Knox said it’s a myth that men and women can’t be troopers just because they’ve gotten a ticket in the past or because they need certain training. He also said law enforcement has gotten a bad reputation in the past few years.
According to Sgt. Knox, many people think they can’t be troopers, but they are often wrong. “To be a state trooper, you don’t have to have any training -- you really don’t,” said Sgt. Knox. “You just have to be a good person. We want good people. We want people who are ethical, who have courage, people who are willing to take a job that’s not an easy job.”
The Raleigh Police Department has vacancies, too -- 43 out of a total of 801 allocated positions, according to officials. The Chapel Hill Police Department does not have a shortage of officers.
According to Sgt. Knox, there are some perks of being a trooper. Troopers can take home their patrol cars, and their salary starts at $37,000 during patrol school and then jumps to $44,000 once they complete that. The top trooper salary is $64,202.
Great benefits are also included, including a 401K plan, paid vacation and sick leave, excellent retirement and state-of-the-art training.
The State Highway Patrol is recruiting people from all over the country. Basic qualifications include:
More information can be found at www.ncdps.gov. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact their local Highway Patrol Office to begin applying.