Local News

Highway Patrol Looks To TV To Help Recruitment Efforts

Posted April 18, 2006 11:56 a.m. EDT

— Lights. Sirens. Action.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol training center was temporarily converted into a movie set, of sorts, on Monday as video crews mingled with state troopers who tried their hands at directing.

A decreasing number of Highway Patrol applicants has pushed the state agency to produce an action-packed recruitment video that includes a simulated wreck and response.

"This is the first time we've actually shot a recruiting commercial," said Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Everett Clendenin. "We've done other things recruiting-wise, but we're going to show the citizens out there that we have vacancies and that the Highway Patrol is hiring."

The patrol now has 100 unfilled positions, the highest number of vacancies ever for state troopers. Out of the 1,800 troopers statewide, only 200 are black, and only 39 are women.

Both groups are well represented in the recruiting commercial.

"I think we do need more females on the road, because there are not too many people that have the opportunity to see females on the road," said trooper Chasity Davis. "There are some counties that don't have any females at all patrolling them."

Trooper-actors volunteered their time so that there were no shortages out on the highways while the commercial, which is expected to cost about $5,000, is in production.

If everyone says their lines and hits their cues, the first Highway Patrol recruiting commercial could be on television screens across the state as early as this summer.