Washington State Patrol struggles with recruiting new troopers

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington State Patrol is having trouble recruiting new troopers and many department veterans are eligible for retirement at the end of the year.

The Daily Herald reports that many of the new hires end up leaving for jobs with local law enforcement agencies that pay better.

“It's a huge challenge,” Capt. Monica Alexander told the Herald. “We're trying to evaluate how to get people in the door and keep them. We can't have people going out the back door as soon as one enters the front door.”

The state patrol had 147 vacancies in its commissioned ranks as of Oct. 23.

To address the problem, patrol leaders and lawmakers have hired a consultant that will submit a study by December possible solutions.

The patrol will close some of the gap when about 25 people graduate from the next class of troopers on Nov. 19.

But Alexander says more are needed.