For the first time in three years, the California Highway Patrol is looking for a new class of recruits. The CHP is accepting applications online for what what one officer describes as an extremely competitive and rigorous process.
Through Jan. 5, an estimated 60,000 people are expected to apply online for the September 2013 academy class.
But Officer Ming Hsu with the CHP Recruitment Program warned only about 2 percent of applicants will be accepted into the academy – and from there, the dropout rate is around 40 percent.
“They either drop out on their own or they fail out of the testing that we do,” Hsu said. “Our training is very difficult and not every one makes it.”
The physical fitness requirements alone are a major factor in why people get a failing grade, Hsu added.
Only about 150 cadets are chosen for the September class, but those who successfully complete the academy can expect to begin a new career with a starting salary of about $60,000 a year.
“You essentially go to Sacramento for 27 weeks,” Hsu said. “If you’re successful you promote to the officer position and you hit the field.”
“This is an opportunity to serve alongside some of California’s finest who provide the highest level of safety, service and security throughout the state,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “A career with a law enforcement agency like the CHP offers unlimited opportunities for someone who is looking for a challenge.”
In addition to patrolling state roads and highways, the CHP operates a number of other divisions, including helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, a mounted division that patrols the state capitol and boat divisions that patrol the Golden Gate area of San Francisco.
“Officers are needed throughout California,” Farrow said. “Through this process, we are determined to find qualified men and women from diverse backgrounds who are committed to carrying out the CHP’s mission and making a difference in their communities.”
When new officers graduate from CHP training, they are eligible candidates for positions with the Secret Service.
Those who plan to apply must be 20-35 years old, a U.S. citizen, have no felony convictions and be a high school graduate (or equivalent). Each applicant will be required to complete a selection process, including a written test, physical ability test, appraisal panel interview, a background investigation, a medical/vision evaluation and a psychological evaluation.
Anyone who is interested in applying or seeking more information is encouraged to visit www.chpcareers.com.