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DPS Facing Trooper Shortage Across Texas

CBS 42 Reporter: Annalisa Petralia
Last Update: 7/16 10:31 pm

DPS Facing Trooper Shortage Across Texas

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One of the largest law enforcement agencies in Texas is quickly losing many of its officers.
The Department of Public Safety is facing a shortage of troopers. A large number of troopers are set to retire in August, and they are leaving at a faster rate than they can be replaced.

Currently, there are 246 openings listed at DPS. Several troopers hired in the 1970s and ‘80s are retiring in August, after capping out their salary raises. Because so many troopers are retiring, the department needs to fill more than 600 job vacancies within the next three years.

DPS recruiters say it isn't easy; the department is dealing with some fierce competition. New recruits are being lured away by other law enforcement agencies in the state. Military calls are up, so more qualified applicants are answering the call of duty, and more troopers are being used to patrol the border.

Meanwhile, fewer people are applying for jobs at DPS.

"After Sept. 11, a number of agencies – local, state, federal, even military - obviously needed to increase their ranks to maintain their presence for terrorism-type duties and to make sure their areas that they’re responsible for have adequate manpower coverage,” DPS recruiting officer Lt. Phillip Ayala said.

A DPS training class is in progress, and 108 troopers are set to graduate in September..