Highway Patrol sees spike in number of applicants

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says they have seen a significant increase in the number of applicants and officials attribute that to two bills that passed the Legislature.

Chief Ricky Adams tells The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/1u2Ypen ) more than 800 candidates applied for the trooper academy- the most since 2006 - after the two bills passed. Before the bills went into effect, the department had fewer than 300 applications.

One bill gives active and would-be troopers a pay increase. The second bill removed language saying applicants had to have a college degree. Instead, the patrol can now hire troopers with at least 32 credit hours and an honorable discharge from the military.

Adams says the changes allow the patrol to compete against other state departments, fire stations and private industries for good candidates.

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