Forty cadets reported March 30 to the 60th Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy. Those who make it through the 20-week boot camp-like training will graduate Aug. 17.
“We need all of them that we can get,” patrol Capt. Gary Vinson said. “Hopefully, they will all make it through and they have the mental mindset to get through this.”
Vinson, the academy commander, said most classes experience a 20 percent washout of cadets because of the intense training and the absence of their family members during the process.
This is the first trooper academy since 2009 because of state budget constraints. A decrease of nearly 60 troopers, coupled with the imminent retirement of 200 more, make this academy a high priority.
“Gov. Mary Fallin made the statement in her State of the State address that our highway patrol numbers are not where they need to be,” Vinson said. “Our manpower is down throughout the state, and we've been needing to have a class for a while.”
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Our manpower is down throughout the state, and we've been needing to have a class for a while.”