California Highway Patrol is looking to fill 1,000 vacant officer positions through the new campaign called “Join the CHP 1,000”.
“I’ve always had a passion for law enforcement and helping people. What really made me get involved with CHP was I was involved in a really bad car accident myself back in 2014, and I broke a little piece of my back," said Melissa Ann Cahoon, one of the candidates.
“It never really crossed my mind that I would be CHP. I went to school for engineering and everything, but I have a little brother and sister, and I want to make the community safer for them," said another applicant, Larry Lee Lucas.
The applicants go through a long hiring process.
One of the items on the checklist is a physical ability test.
“19 pushups in a minute, 25 sit-ups in a minute, 1.5 mile run around the track in 15 minutes, and 300-meter sprint in 70 seconds," said CHP Recruitment Officer, Jordan Richards.
Lucas said he spent three months training for this day.
“The most challenging thing for me is honestly the running part. I played a lot of football so I was never used to long distance, so the mile and half was definitely the hardest thing for me," explained Lucas.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected recruitment numbers for the CHP.
“In 2020 we had to shut down the academy for one full year and we generally graduate just over 300 new officers and that had taken a huge effect on us," stated Richards.
Now it’s all about playing catch up, Richards said recruitment numbers were already low before the pandemic.
“As a large agency like this, we have about 330 officers that retire every single year so in order to keep up with attrition, we have to promote 330 cadets to officers," said Richards.
A physical ability test is just one part of the requirements. Applicants will also take a law enforcement exam, go through background checks, and undergo psychological and medical evaluations four to six months from today’s test before getting an invite to the CHP academy.