SEATTLE – The Washington State Patrol is having a recruiting problem. It's not that they can't find people who want to be troopers. The problem is many of the candidates, particularly younger ones, can't pass the physical fitness requirements.
There are currently 34 trooper vacancies. In addition, 93 current officers will be eligible to retire on Jan. 1, 2011. Since the combined hiring and training processes take about 12 months, WSP is making finding new troopers a top priority.
But it seems finding qualified candidates who can also pass the WSP physical fitness test is a problem. The test consists of pushups, situps and a 1.5 mile run. Surprisingly to the state patrol, it's many of the younger candidates that are failing.
Here are the stats for 2010 so far:
Ages 20 - 29: 66 percent passed
Ages 30 - 39: 73 percent passed
Ages 40 - 49: 92 percent passed
Ages 50 - 59: Only 1 tested and failed
Ages 20 - 29: 33 percent passed
Ages 30 - 39: 40 percent passed
Ages 40 - 49: 100 percent passed
Ages 50 - 59: 50 percent passed
In an effort to reach its hiring goals, WSP says it will hold what it calls special, decentralized testing in Shelton on April 27 and in Kennewick on April 30. WSP says it plans to stretch its resources to condense the traditional six month hiring process to two months.