South Dakota Highway Patrol recruiting its next generation of state troopers
The South Dakota Highway Patrol is now recruiting its next generation of state troopers. The department is hoping they can find a group of young men and women to lead them for years to come.
For former Field Training Officer Sgt. Josh Olson, the recruiting process of new state troopers is an exciting time.
"Bottom line is, they want to go out and save lives," Olson said. "It feels great that we have those types of people, recruits and troopers, that are willing to go out there and make those sacrifices to make sure that South Dakota is safe."
Olson says, while a 12 member Highway Patrol recruit class is slated to graduate this April, the agency is always preparing for the future.
"We're a growing organization, so we've added some positions over the years, and we're looking down the road too," Olson said. "We know we're going to going to have some retirements in the next year or two, so we want to make sure that we're looking ahead, that's why we're going to be hiring a larger group this go around."
And it's not only about youth, Olson says anyone with strong integrity and the willingness to serve the public should consider being a state trooper.
"Any diversity that we can get into our organization is going to make our organization better," Olson said. "We would strongly encourage anybody with a diverse background to apply with our agency, we're just looking for the best candidate."
As well as ensuring the public's safety, Olson says putting more law enforcement on the state's highways also helps protect the troopers.
"I know from the governor's office on down, they want to do everything in their power to provide the level of service that South Dakota deserves," Olson said.
Sgt. Olson says that if you are interested in being a state trooper, get in contact with one of the agency's district offices, and schedule a time to do a ride along. That way you can see what the day in the life of a trooper looks like, and it'll help you decide if it's something you would like to pursue.
The deadline to apply for the patrol's next hiring period is March 20.