State troopers are essential to patrolling Florida's highways and keeping people safe, but more are needed.
The Florida Highway Patrol has more than 150 open positions. The shortage could affect how quickly state troopers could get to people in an accident.
Recruitment has been an issue for the Florida Highway Patrol. It's the third largest state with a starting salary among the lowest in the nation.
However, Gov. Rick Scott and state legislature increased starting pay, and added a 5 percent raise across the board on July 1. The measure put starting pay around $38,034.
Sgt. Steve Gaskins says there are many more benefits.
"In addition to the starting pay that we have, you have promotional opportunities across the state. You've got multiple ranks that you can progress through,” said Sgt. Steve Gaskins. “Each one of those comes with a pay raise.
“Higher education keys into that as well, advanced training keys into that. Yes, you do have pretty good retirement and medical benefits and things of that nature."
Some 63 troopers just recently graduated from the academy, and there are currently 88 in training.
The academy is rigorous, which is why after a few years serving the state, some of these men and women are very attractive to other agencies that pay more.
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