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Pennsylvania State Police cadet applications jump after dropping college credit requirements

CBS News Live
CBS News Pittsburgh Live

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) -- Pennsylvania State Police said nearly half of the people who applied to be cadets in the past month were previously ineligible before the state dropped the college credit requirement

Since no longer requiring applicants to have 60 college credits, state police said they've received 1,217 applicants -- 524 of whom wouldn't have been eligible a month ago. 

In comparison, state police said it received 1,745 applications during the last hiring cycle, which was open for six full months. 

"We're pleased to see this jump in applications," said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris in a news release. "It's my hope that even more of the brightest and most hard-working women and men from Pennsylvania and the surrounding area will see themselves in a rewarding career with the PSP."

Cadet applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver's license. Applicants are required to be a Pennsylvania resident and at least 20 years old when they apply. After completing the training academy, cadets are promoted to trooper. 

The state is waiving the college degree requirement on a trial basis. The Shapiro administration said the change will be re-evaluated based on the results of multiple application cycles. 

In his first executive order, Shapiro announced that 92% of state government jobs, or about 65,000 positions, won't require a four-year college degree. He's ordered all agencies under his jurisdiction to take steps to emphasize work experience in their hiring. 

"We're empowering Pennsylvanians who want to serve their community, and I'm proud of the individuals who have applied to become troopers following our announcement dropping the college credit requirement," Shapiro said in a news release. 

"Policing is a noble profession, and the Pennsylvania State Police is the finest law enforcement agency in the nation. Our State Police Academy trains highly capable public servants who work hard to make our communities safer. For those who want to serve, this door of opportunity is open – and we want you on our team."

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