The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is taking applications for its 67th Training Academy.
The Patrol is looking for 65 men and women to join their ranks.
"We want to get the best training applicants as we can get," said Captain Donald Kerr, head of the OHP Training Center.
He said they were not even sure they would have an academy this year because of state funding, until OHP received around $6.5 million dollars from both the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and the Banking Commission.
"We basically need appropriate funds yearly for these patrol schools but we don't get it that's something that we're trying to work on yearly so we can get our numbers back up," said Kerr.
Kerr said they want to see close to 800 applicants for this academy. He also said they are in desperate need for more troopers to join the Patrol.
"Because currently we have about 760 troopers, and we're supposed to have close to 900. And the way attrition is going right now it's going to take 10 to 15 years to get caught up," added Capt. Kerr.
Kerr said applicants can count on a rigorous program which includes written and physical tests. The academy lasts for 18 weeks.
"It's very difficult, but we want to train them for high stress situations because we deal with that every day on our highways," Kerr added.
Kerr said they there will also be COVID precautions, and adds The OHP are still in discussions on whether they should require vaccinations and quarantines.
He said the biggest reward is the impact a trooper makes.
"It's not just about arresting people and getting them in jail --- we do a lot of safety talks and safety programs throughout the schools, so if we can just touch one kid out there -- that makes a huge difference for us," Kerr told News On 6.
To apply for the academy, click here.