63 new troopers are joining the state Highway Patrol as of today.
The 154th Academy Class graduated and took their oaths at the training academy in Columbus. Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. John Born says this class brings the number of troopers in Ohio up to 1,600 - its highest staffing level in six years.
John Born: "It allows us to be a little bit more proactive.Unfortunately when we didn't graduate classes in a couple years,that takes us down to the point where we can't run three shifts. So we have some posts that didn't have a midnight shift. And obviously that puts you into reactive mode for responding to fatal crashes, or injury crashes involving drunk drivers rather than stopping the drunk drivers.”
New money from license and registration fees has allowed for more hiring at the Highway Patrol. This is the second graduation this year - 80 cadets completed their training in February. There were no cadet graduations in 2008 or 2010, and the 60 troopers leave the force each year.