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NC Highway Patrol Under Hiring Freeze

The North Carolina Highway Patrol will not be hiring troopers any time soon because it can't afford to train them. A seven month course that costs $100,000 per cadet is a requirement for becoming a trooper. State lawmakers cut $8 million from the department's budget this year. Last week, 38 cadets graduated from the program. Highway patrol spokesman Jeff Gordon says that still leaves the department with 102 trooper vacancies. "On the average we lose between 7 to 9 troopers per year to attrition. So what you're going to see is if this trend continues that number is going to increase as far as shortages," says Gordon. He hopes the department will begin training cadets again next July, but says the state budget calls for another $7 million in cuts next year. About 1,800 troopers patrol North Carolina's roads. Twenty-eight troopers are allotted to Mecklenburg County, but four of those positions are currently unfilled.