Ohio State Highway Patrol changes hiring requirements to help with retention

Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 1:16 PM EST
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SOUTH POINT, Ohio (WSAZ) - Law enforcement and first responder agencies have had a hard time with hiring during the last couple of years, and many are upping their recruiting efforts to get more people.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has made some changes to their hiring requirements to be more accommodating and hopefully get more troopers.

“We’ve been in existence since 1933, so yes, changes have been made,” said OSHP Trooper Jessica McIntyre. “We’re now in 2023, so yes, you have to make those changes to stay in touch with society and things that are going on.”

McIntyre has been with the force for more than 20 years. She says changes need to be made to keep troopers around.

“Some of the changes we’ve made is tattoo policy,” she said. “You are now allowed to have tattoos, but you do have to wear a long sleeve shirt all year long. That’s your choice, or you can also have them removed.”

Before, if you wanted to be a trooper, you had to get tattoos removed at your own expense. Now, they just have to be covered.

Another change is age requirements. The maximum age to be a state trooper has changed from 34 to 39.

“You see people that are taking care of themselves and they’re able to do this job at an older age than we have now,” McIntyre said.

To help with recruiting and training, McIntyre reached out to South Point High School to use their facilities for training.

“It’s just been our football stadium, track and field, and sometimes the gymnasium,” said South Point High School assistant Principal Jeff Sanders.

New recruits in the area take physical and written tests in South Point.

“It’s good for our students to see those candidates can come right from your community,” Sanders said. “They can be all walks of life and seeing the troopers in the school is also a plus; exposure to the kids that’s not clouded. We’re very happy to give our time to help out the law enforcement.”

You can apply to be a state trooper by tapping here.