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December 05, 2007 (LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas State Police Recruiters are preparing to meet and recruit the next generation of state troopers. The Arkansas State Police Commission recently placed 33 trooper applicants on the departmental eligibility list for the 2008-A troop school scheduled to begin February 10th 2008. With those positions secured, recruiters now begin the search for the next group of prospective candidates to fill positions in a second troop school tentatively set to begin later next year. “The recruiting teams are ready to go anywhere to talk to anyone who may think they’re interested in becoming a state trooper,” said Major Kathy Sparks, commander of the Arkansas State Police Administrative Services Division. “We are offering one of the best benefits packages law enforcement has to offer in Arkansas and as many as 50 positions need to be filled,” Major Sparks stated. The total compensation package for a new Arkansas State Trooper and the trooper’s family is valued at $64,000 annually. Troopers who successfully complete the training academy earn a salary of $36,000 plus family healthcare and retirement benefits valued at more than $23,000 and $5,000 in leave time. An applicant must be at least 21 years of age, a high school graduate or possess an equivalency certificate, have a valid driver license issued in their name, and be capable of passing a written examination, physical fitness test, background investigation, medical and psychological examinations, polygraph examination and department interview board. “The Arkansas State Police is a diverse police force and the application process is open to everyone without regard to their race, religion or cultural association,” Major Sparks said. “The primary disqualifiers in the application process are felony convictions and misdemeanor domestic abuse convictions.” All applicants must be prepared for a thorough personal and criminal background investigation. During the coming months the recruiters hope to secure more than 500 applications and are particularly interested in opportunities to meet minority candidates considering a job as a law enforcement officer. “We always want to encourage women and African-Americans to spend time with our recruiters. Likewise, with the growing Hispanic population in Arkansas we need more qualified trooper candidates who are fluent in the Spanish language and there are financial incentives for candidates who pass a certified review of secondary language skills,” Major Sparks stated. “Qualified candidates of all races and genders should consider our invitation to meet with a recruiter and hear what the Arkansas State Police has to offer.” A schedule of local town hall styled meetings in which prospective trooper applicants can meet with recruiters will be released later this month. Meanwhile applicants are encouraged to contact their nearest Arkansas State Police office for more information, or schedule a meeting with Recruiters Sergeant Wanda James and Corporal Alvernon Rogers. The recruiters can be contacted by calling (501) 618-8724, or (800) 340-4255. From the Arkansas State Police web site, http://www.asp.arkansas.gov/divisions/as/as_recruiting.html interested applicants can also access a copy of the Trooper Applicant Initial Contact Form and learn more about the hiring process.