WSP Says Trooper Shortage Due to Retirement and Pay - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WSP Says Trooper Shortage Due to Retirement and Pay

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WSP is looking to recruit more troopers. WSP is looking to recruit more troopers.

WASHINGTON-  Washington State Patrol is facing trooper shortages across the state as they continue to recruit more people. 

The president of WSP's Troopers Association said three to four people do the job of what eight to nine troopers used to do.

Lieutenant Tim Coley works at the WSP Office in Olympia and said there are two main reasons why some big shortages are coming their way.  Lt. Coley explains that there is a large group of troopers eligible for retirement and the second part is that many trooper are leaving for other agencies for more pay.

Right now, there are more than 100 vacancies and that is about 15% of their positions.  WSP is working fast to find a solution.

Lt. Coley said troopers are paid less than nearly 100 other agencies in the state.  With pay being a challenge to keeping and recruiting more people, there are less troopers on the road.

"Every one of those personnel that is not available to work a shift on the road, that can cause a delay in service.  It's less troopers out there looking for those life-threatening and most dangerous violations," said Lt. Coley.

That means a few people are doing the job of many and that has created some challenges. 

"That has an impact on the current troopers with morale, with time off, and those sorts of issues," said Lt. Coley.

Troopers start out make about $54,000 a year.  Officers locally in Kennewick and Pasco start off making about $10,000 more.

Nationwide, other agencies are seeing a lot of retirement too.  Lt. Coley said that comes in waves.  

The job of a state trooper is traffic centered.  They deal with situations like DUIs, dangerous driving, accidents, and more.  WSP does have an academy class on November 23rd.  They are currently recruiting people for the next class which will be next year in September. 

For more information about WSP, what they do, or how to talk to a recruitment officer, visit their website.