FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin State Patrol is looking for a few good troopers.
On Tuesday night at the Wisconsin State Patrol headquarters in Fond du Lac everyone coming through the door had the to chance to find out exactly what being a trooper entails, as the agency struggles to fill a growing number of empty positions.
Capt. Ryan Chaffee said, "Right now we have about 450 troopers statewide, and we need to boost those numbers up a little bit. When we're full, we're at about 489 troopers right now and every day we're losing troopers to retirement or for other attrition type reasons."
The open house hosted by the agency brought in mostly young people from across Northeast Wisconsin.
Attendees were given a chance to learn about career opportunities with the State Patrol. Troopers, inspectors, a K9 officer and drone pilot were there.
The state patrol is also making a concentrated effort to focus on diversity.
Right now about 10 percent of the force is made up of women and minorities and the hope is to expand upon that.
"Basically, we're a representative of the public and the best way we can represent the public is by hiring a more diverse workforce whether that's men and women of different cultural backgrounds, different beliefs, that's how we can better relate to the public," said Sgt. Erica Ballweg-Larsen.
One challenge today is social media and the constant perception that the job is more dangerous than it might have been years ago.
"In reality this job hasn't changed very dramatically from 20 years ago when I started until now," Chaffee added. "It's just an awareness of what's happening and the various types of things that our law enforcement officers are engaged in on a day to day has changed a little bit over the course of the last few years."
No law enforcement experience is required to apply for a job with the agency. Applicants who are accepted into the State Patrol will get six months of paid training at State Patrol Academy at Fort McCoy.
Training for the 66th State Patrol class is expected to begin in July 2020.
Candidates must apply online before the Jan. 12 application deadline. CLICK HERE for the application.