OHP Says Largest Cadet Class In Decades Will Help Trooper Shortage
OKLAHOMA CITY - Nearly 100 cadets are wrapping up their first weekend of training to become Oklahoma's newest state troopers.
This year's academy is the largest one since before World War II, and the OHP says now more than ever, they need all of the cadets to pass.
OHP is currently about 300 troopers short of what they need. OHP says with a large class like this one, those who pass will help bridge different gaps, including shorter response times and more partnered teams.
A funding boost from the state, plus additional money pledged by the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is the big reason OHP says this cadet class is so big.
These larger class sizes are something they want to see now on a regular basis to help offset upcoming retirements.
Still, for OHP the amount of people on the road across the state is consistently going up. They say they need more troopers to keep everyone safe.
"We need people on the road. We have a lot of gaps across the state. We have 77 counties across the state of Oklahoma and a variety of other tasks. We need good people on the road to protect the citizens like we need to be able to do," says Captain Jay Clary with Highway Patrol.
In recent years, cadet classes have been nearly half the size of this year's class.