WA State Patrol launching hiring push

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Faced with significant numbers of recent and impending retirements, the Washington State Patrol says it's launching an unprecedented hiring campaign.

The Seattle Times says the agency typically hires and trains one class of 50 to 60 recruits annually. But because of the retirement picture, the Legislature recently approved funding for an additional patrol academy class.

One cadet class has already been selected.

Capt. Jeff DeVere told reporters Monday that the patrol is looking for another 60 candidates for a second cadet class, to begin training later this year.

Open testing is scheduled April 28 through May 1 at the Camp Murray National Guard Armory south of Tacoma. There's a written test, a physical fitness test and an extensive background check.

Patrol Academy instructor Sgt. Freddy Williams says many otherwise qualified candidates in recent years have been unable to pass the physical fitness test. Requirements vary by age and gender, but candidates must be able to complete a 1 1/2 mile run in a certain time and perform a certain number of push-ups and sit-ups.