Thirteen of the 26 law enforcement officers who graduated from the Public Safety Training Academy on Friday will start the process of joining the Alaska State Troopers, according to troopers.
Graduates of the 15-week academy will join police departments throughout the state, but if they want to become state troopers or wildlife troopers, they have to complete "Trooper Basic," which focuses on stress management, boating safety, survival and more, said Megan Peters, troopers spokeswoman.
If recruits finish the three-week program and prove they can work by themselves in the 15-week field training program, they will become troopers, she said.
She said there are currently about 100 wildlife troopers and about 300 state troopers.
If the Troopers hire all 13 recruits, she said, the department will still have about 26 unfilled positions. Peters said since the reality TV show, "Alaska State Troopers," premiered in 2009, troopers have received between 2,000 and 3,000 more applications a year.
By BENJAMIN S. BRASCH