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Ohio State Highway Patrol launches recruitment drive to fill positions statewide

Ohio State Highway Patrol car
Raymond Wambsgans

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is looking for at least 200 new recruits to fill its ranks across the state.

Sgt. Tyler Ross said the patrol is always looking for qualified men and women to become the next generation of troopers.

As something new for this recruitment initiative, the patrol has selected officers in each of the state's nine patrol districts to serve as recruitment liaisons.

These liaisons provide more boots on the ground and allow them to recruit at more events, Ross said.

"Whether it's at schools, whether it's at colleges, it's community events, anywhere we can come into contact with people, we're trying to get more people out on the field ... make contacts, networking, get out there and maybe, hopefully find applicants," Ross said.

Patrol applicants must go through a selective process to become cadets, including knowledge and physical fitness testing, polygraph, and psychological and medical reviews.

The patrol hopes to attract applicants from diverse backgrounds, Sgt. Ross said.

"We're reaching out to everyone," he said. "Anybody that can be an applicant. [If] they meet the minimum requirements, we're more than open to give them that opportunity."

Ross said recruitment has been a challenge, especially through the pandemic, but they've started to see the number of applications increase.

"It's a chance and an opportunity to go beyond yourself to serve your community to be a servant, put others before yourself, Ross said. "It's a very rewarding career to know that you can go out in your local community and your local county and throughout the state of Ohio and make a difference."

Potential recruits can apply online at the patrol's website or by using the QR code printed on the back of cruisers.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.