After struggling with low recruitment numbers in recent years, Kentucky State Police are opening doors for a larger pool of applicants.
New recruits were once required to have 60 hours of college credit and two years of active duty experience as a soldier or a police officer. But the requirements have been relaxed to include only a high school diploma or GED and three years of consistent work in any field.
Prospective troopers must still undergo a rigorous 24-week training regime. Once they graduate from the academy, Trooper B. J. Eaton with the KSP post in Bowling Green says troopers will be offered a starting salary of around $40,000.
"Just recently they put in place a pay structure so over time you know what your pay raise will be over your entire career," Eaton said. "I think that's helped us in recruiting. Somebody can looked down the road and say 'I may only start out at 40, but in ten years, this is what I'll be doing.'"
State police are holding recruitment town hall meetings across the state. The next one is tonight in Bowling Green. A meeting in Barbourville will take place June 12 and another June 19 in Prestonsburg. All the meetings start at 6 p.m. local time.