Pennsylvania: Applications to the state police increase after eliminating requirement for college credit

More state agencies intend to eliminate four-year degrees as a condition for applying to certain jobs.

Eliminating the requirement for college credit was the key to ending the recruiting problem in the Pennsylvania State Police. Since Governor Shapiro remodeled the requirements to apply to the state police force, applications have already increased significantly.

According to Pennsylvania government data, applications for police jobs have increased to 1,217 in a single month since the new criteria went into effect. In the previous recruitment period, there were 1,745 applications over six months. The state government estimates that almost 50% of the 1,217 applications this past month would have been rejected given sthe requirements of the past.

Applicants for the state police must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent and a valid driver's license from any state. Applicants must be at least 20 years of age at the time of application and must be between 21 and 40 when entering the training academy. Cadets must be Pennsylvania residents at the time of graduation.

The tests to enter the Pennsylvania State Police include a written exam, a polygraph test, a history review, physical tests as well as a medical and psychological exam. Passing all these prerequisites earns them a training period of two years and three months as a cadet at the State Police Academy. The base salary as a state police officer fresh out of the academy is set at $66,911 per year.

"We are empowering Pennsylvanians who want to serve their community, and I am proud of the people who have applied to become state troopers following our announcement to eliminate the college credit requirement," Gov. Josh Shapiro said in a statement.

According to the governor, being a state police trooper is not the only public service job that does not require university training. According to the Democrat, 92% of the 65,000 jobs offered by the state do not require four-year college degrees. Going forward, he promised that state agencies would phase out these requirements where appropriate.