State Patrol Looking for More Troopers - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

State Patrol Looking for More Troopers

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A shortage of recruits has the Nebraska State Patrol extending their application deadline for future troopers a few more days.

NSP is hiring as many as 30 new troopers, but they haven't had enough people apply to be a part of their next training camp, Basic Recruit Camp 56, which starts in October.

The head of the state patrol says they will be taking applications until April 7 in hopes of getting more interested candidates.

Right now, Camp 55 is about one-third of the way through their training. Kara Hutchinson, of Axtell, and 20 other potential troopers are going through 23 total weeks of classroom and hands-on learning.

"There has been new challenges, I mean it's paramilitary, so it's a stressful environment, but it's all for a good purpose," says Hutchinson.

Trainers say paramilitary-style means doing things quickly and perfectly, which can be intense.

"If they can't handle the stress of our people yelling at them, making them do pushups up here, then there's no way they're going to be able to handle a six-foot-two bad guy on the side of the road who they're trying to take to jail for whatever it is they've done wrong," says NSP Sgt. Tony Kavan.

Kavan says a future trooper must be mentally tough, in basic physical shape, and ready to wear the uniform.

"We need people who, first of all, can be taught, that have a heart for public service, that want to do the job, but that want to do it for the right reasons," he says.

Applicants need a high school diploma or GED, to be US citizens, and at least 21 years old by the time they take the Oath of Office.

Kavan says starting troopers are of different ages, and come from all kinds of backgrounds.

"You don't have to have a degree, you don't have to have served in the military, but we would like to see that you have done something, you have some life experience you can bring to us," Kavan says.

Camp 55 recruits say joining the state patrol has been a dream of theirs, and they encourage others to look into it.

"It doesn't hurt to throw out an application and get in that process and see if it's something for you," says recruit Brent Potthoff of Kearney. "It definitely does call to certain people, but there's also people that kind of just fall into it and realize it's what they want to do with their life."

"I would say it's a great experience, it's something you need to work hard at, and it's not for everybody, but you will be respected, and you'll enjoy it," says Hutchinson.

Click HERE to learn more about the Nebraska State Patrol recruitment process.

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