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Highway Patrol seeks 180 new recruits after hiring freeze

Posted May 9, 2012
Updated May 10, 2012

North Carolina State Highway Patrol
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— In its first recruiting blitz in five years, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol is looking to quickly fill 183 vacant positions with qualified applicants.

The Highway Patrol loses about 10 troopers a month to attrition, which doesn't include troopers who quit or are fired. Last year, budget cuts forced the agency to implement a hiring freeze.

Now, Trooper Courtney Dail says the agency needs more officers on patrol.

"We need help on the road investigating collisions," she said. "We're having to go from call to call, getting backed up – people are having to wait longer."

That's why the agency is hosting a recruiting fair Thursday at its training facility in Raleigh. Troopers will be on hand to assist applicants – who must be between 21 and 39 with a clean criminal record – from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3318 Old Garner Road. 

Trooper Eric Naylor said more troopers will help the public.

"Call times will be cut down," he said. "People won't have to wait for accidents or anything of that nature."

The hiring process takes about four months from the time a new recruit applies until he or she starts training, so even if Thursday's job fair goes well, it will be months before troopers get some help on the roads. Highway Patrol begins hiring blitz to fill vacancies Highway Patrol begins hiring blitz to fill vacancies

Jon Gregory, a law enforcement training coordinator at Wake Technical Community College, said he has seen a 20 to 30 percent spike in students seeking careers in law enforcement. 

He advises his students to "think long and hard" about becoming a law enforcement officer.

"If this the type of profession you want to get into?" Gregory asks students. "Careers in this arena – it may last six years, then the person is out."

Naylor said the agency looks for applicants who are called to public service.

"Dedicated, motivated – that's what we're looking for with new troopers," he said. "With the Highway Patrol, it needs to be something you want to do."

16 Comments

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  • All the People May 10, 3:38 p.m.

    "Wow, where do you live? Sounds like a great place. You can't go 1/2 a mile around here without a trooper sleeping on the side of the road or busting some soccer mom for driving a few miles over the limit."

    That claim will be much more believable if you actually have any documentation of it.

  • ICTrue May 10, 3:18 p.m.

    "About time. Need more troopers. Usually only one or two on patrol in a county with 800mi of road. Wait a hour or two for a trooper to get there to do an accident report, while a crew of 6 people wait for him to get there." killerkestrel

    Wow, where do you live? Sounds like a great place. You can't go 1/2 a mile around here without a trooper sleeping on the side of the road or busting some soccer mom for driving a few miles over the limit.

  • tarheelfan41 May 10, 3:10 p.m.

    There is no revenue problem, only spending problems. Here is a clear choice to put 180 more ticket writers on the road rather than 180 teachers in the classroom. Choices, not more taxes.

  • Relic May 10, 2:49 p.m.

    thepeopleschamp - Jailers and Detention Officers handle the jails. Baliffs and some deputies handle the courts. Clerks handle office work, CCW permits, etc. Every SO that I know of has deputies that do mostly civil papers and child support. Each county has a Patrol Section of deputies that respond to calls. I fail to see why if Police Officers can handle such calls in a City (which statistically has more calls than country areas) why Patrol Deputies cannot handle them. Virginia and SC both have State Police which assign officers to work traffic on the busy interstates and major roads but also work other crimes. Sherriffs Departments and County Police in both states also work traffic. And any deputy that doesn't go out and "get votes" for their sheriff won't be working at ANY sheriff's office.

  • thepeopleschamp May 10, 1:41 p.m.

    Relic, Sheriff's Dept have a whole list of obligations that police depts never have to worry with; running the courts, maintaining a jail, civil papers, CCW permits, ect... I'm not sure what county you are in where the Deputies have time to "ride around and get votes". A DWI process takes up to 2-3 hours that a patrol Deputy would not be available to answer calls, multiply that by the 1,000's of DWI arrest HP makes and it adds up.

  • Relic May 10, 1:17 p.m.

    "About time. Need more troopers. Usually only one or two on patrol in a county with 800mi of road."

    But every county has a Sherriff's Office. There is no reason why County Sheriff's Deputies can't work a traffic accident, run RADAR or arrest DWI's. Deputies get the same training as Police Officers and HP Troopers DO NOT work wrecks inside Cities. Police Officers work wrecks every day. Ah! But wait! That would take deputies away from riding around being seen so that the Sheriff can get votes! Again, more justification for an antiquated, out-dated agency that needs to be merged with the NC SBI, NC ALE and DMV License and Theft to form a State Law Enforcement agency like VA and SC have. But as I've said before that would take away some crony jobs at the top of these agencies, wouldn't it? And we don't want to tick Sheriff's off because they influence votes.

  • wayneboyd May 10, 12:37 p.m.


    I can't see justifying 180 more employees and 180 more expensive vehicles being loaded onto a state budget that is already creaking beneath the load debt the taxpayers are already being required to shoulder.

  • pbjbeach May 10, 11:44 a.m.

    I USE TO WORK FOR THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA AN I PERSONALY WOULDN'T TRUST ANY AGENCY WITH IN THE STATE OF NORTHCAROLINA TO DO THE RIGHT FAIR AN JUST THING WITH REGARDS TO THE TREATMENT OF THEIR EMPLOYEE FOR THEIR IS JUST TO MUCH POLITICAL CONSIDERATION THAT WORKS ENTIRELY AGAINST THE EMPLOYEE WITHIN THE ENIREFRAME WORK OF STATE GOVERNMENT FOR IF YOU FAIL TO KISS THE RIGHT BACK SIDE YOU WILL BE THROWN OUT SURELY WITHOUT ANY FORM OF JUSTIFICATION AT ALL( I PERSONALY WOULD NOT DO IT AGAIN JUST TO MANY BACK STABERS FOR ME THANK YOU

  • bluelineleo May 10, 11:01 a.m.

    You know with the budgets going the way they are the state could save so much money if they would revamp the patrol school and shorten it. 29 weeks to train to complete a DMV349 and write a ticket? Really? When the graduate they are not even radar certified. Alaska State Troopers for example can turn out trooper in 18 weeks, and thats from a civilian to an officer. And up there they answer a variety of calls from vehicle wrecks, to B & E's, to murders, to rapes, and frauds/ID thefts. How can you justify a 29 week (7 months) course? Sounds like a lot of money wasted. And I'm sure they could get many people who already have their general certification and turn out troopers in two months, especially if they already have multiple years of exprience as police officer! The state legisture and the Director of Public Safety need to take a long look and this and consider shortening it!

  • less_govt_is_better_govt May 10, 10:52 a.m.

    NC needs this like they need another hole in the head.

    Troopers are a ponzie scheme of government to facilitate un-needed jobs and pool money into a growing government spending deficit. Go to the highway patrol website and look up any trooper on the NC court website. They have hundreds of charges for victim-less crimes to generate money for the court system and a percentage of each court cost collected goes towards the trooper's retirement. The facts are there, this is not about public safety.

    I also find it funny no news station in Eastern NC has followed the debacle in Candor, NC. A trooper tried to macho his way in as county commissoner, fired 4 police officers without reason, was then charged with a felony by the SBI and refused to step down for weeks until just recently. He was fired by the NCSHP late last year.

    That is the problem with this organization, too many good ole' boys throughout the state. Mix them all up and watch the vultures pick each other apart.

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