INSTITUTE, W.Va. — The largest cadet class in 30 years graduated from the West Virginia State Police Academy Friday morning.
The 71st Cadet Class, made up of 54 men and 5 women, were officially sworn in during a ceremony held at West Virginia State University.
This is the first class to incorporate traditional cadets as well as previously certified officers.
State Police Superintendent Col. Jan Cahill said getting the word out more helped form this class of 59 troopers.
“A heavy public relations and marketing campaign. I can’t thank our civilian and uniform staff enough,” Cahill said.
The cadets began training last August.
Last year state lawmakers approved a $10,000 pay raise for troopers, another reason Cahill said they saw higher recruitment numbers.
“The historic pay raise of $10,000 that the state police received last year, certainly that helped.”
Despite the large class, Col. Cahill said there remain vacancies, but their situation remains better than in past years.
“The biggest challenge is recruiting and retaining people,” said Cahill. “We’re in pretty good shape, not near as bad as we’ve been in the past.”
The new state troopers have already received their assignments and will be spread out all across the state.