Some officers can be DPS troopers in 8 weeks

February 25, 2010 7:58:20 AM PST
The Department of Public Safety has 400 evacancies and is offering experienced law officers a chance to become troopers in just two months, the agency announced Thursday. Previously, experienced law officers had to join rookies to complete the regular training course that was nearly seven months long. The eight-week trooper school, for current Texas and eligible out-of-state law officers, is a first in the 75-year history of the DPS, the agency said in a statement.

"There are a lot of agencies competing for a very small pool of applicants. We need to take some very dramatic action to help beef up our ranks," DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange told The Associated Press.

The application deadline is March 31 and the first advanced recruit school will begin May 16. Qualified applicants will be allowed to select where they want to serve.

DPS has about 3,400 commissioned employees, according to Mange, including troopers, Texas Rangers and criminal investigators. The highway patrol has about 2,400 troopers, she said.

DPS this month announced it was cutting the regular trooper training period from 27 to 18 weeks, to attract more recruits and save money.

While attending the advance school, officers will earn about $2,982 a month, DPS said. Upon graduation, the pay jumps to $3,258 a month. The monthly salary increases to $3,935 after one year with DPS.

Troopers who speak Spanish, have college degrees and higher law enforcement certifications are eligible for higher pay.