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Tolls helping fund new OHP trooper academy

Posted at 4:35 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 08:08:58-04

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is dishing out big money to put more state troopers on our highways.

Lawmakers could not find the funds for a trooper academy this year.

$5-million from the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will help train the next set of recruits.

"Every little bit helps and we're very grateful to the Turnpike Authority to step in and help us out with this. You know we've had individuals that have had applications in for awhile and they're eager to get going," said Trooper Dwight Durant.

Governor Mary Fallin pushed legislators this year to fund a new OHP academy, but the turnpike authority stepped in with the donation.

The turnpike authority is helping out because of the current trooper shortage.

"If you were ever thinking about being a state trooper we want you to come in and apply," said Durant.

The less troopers on the road, the less troopers can be dedicated to turnpikes.

Trooper Dwight Durant says more than a quarter of the 790 troopers are eligible for retirement.

"I meet individuals every day, I talk to them on the phone I communicate with them that are just as eager, just as enthusiastic about being a state trooper as I was 20 years ago," said Durant.

Troopers hope to have the academy started by the end of the year. The minimum age to join is 21. The oldest you can be is 45 by the start of the academy.

Click HERE to learn more about joining the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

 

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