OHP hosting ‘bridge’ academy to combat trooper shortage

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says it is facing a shortage of troopers, so it is hosting its first ever ‘bridge’ academy.

The OHP’s 69th Academy will be the agency’s first ever ‘bridge’ academy.

Applications will be open to current, full-time CLEET certified law enforcement officers with at least two years of experience. Out-of-state officers may become eligible by obtaining CLEET certification through reciprocity.

“OHP is facing an imminent shortage of troopers, partly due to the large number of them retiring,” said OHP Chief Pat Mays. “We’re looking at creative ways to recruit for the agency. Hiring men and women who already have law enforcement experience allows us to get them on the roads sooner. And we know there are many current officers and deputies who would make excellent troopers and enjoy the benefits of a career with OHP.”

Applications are now open and are being accepted through Dec. 20. The bridge academy will begin April 21, 2022 and will be an abbreviated, standard OHP academy with a graduation date of July 8, 2022.

OHP is also holding a Trooper to Trooper Academy in 2022. Applications for the 68th Academy have already closed. The Trooper to Trooper Academy begins February 21, 2022 with a graduation date of April 29, 2022.

Cadets accepted into the “bridge” academy will receive a starting pay equal to a second year trooper.

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