The Indiana State Police, locked in a fierce competition with other law enforcement agencies for new recruits, plans to lower the bar for admission by dropping its college requirement, reports the Indianapolis Star. Candidates will need only a high school diploma or to pass the general educational development test to apply for the State Police starting as early as next year. The goal is to increase the number of candidates, especially minorities, said Superintendent Paul Whitesell.
“I still want college-educated officers,” Whitesell said. “I just wasn’t getting the numbers that I like. I’m trying to find 60 to 65 people for a recruit class, and sometimes my application pool was only 100. That’s not such a good number to draw from.” The State Police for more than a decade has required either 60 credit hours of college, or previous police or military experience. That requirement has set the department apart from many local agencies that which require a high school diploma. Recruits still will have to go through a 23-week training academy if selected. “I can train them,” said Whitesell. Police agencies nationwide are in the same dilemma, said Jason Abend of of the Virginia-based National Law Enforcement Recruiters Association. People who would be interested in police work are being lured into federal jobs with homeland security and immigration. Most state police agencies, especially the large, well-respected agencies in states such as New Jersey, Florida, and New York, require some college or military experience.