There will be more Wyoming Highway Patrol cars on the state’s highways in the next few months as the agency fills trooper vacancies at a rapid pace.

Two new classes of troopers are set to join the force in Early March and late May, respectively.

In a press release, the Patrol says two academies are being run simultaneously after “a very successful applicant testing” held back in September.  The first class began on Nov. 30 and is made up of nine pre-certified officers from around the country.  The second class, composed of 11 civilian hires, got started on Monday.

One trooper who left the agency in good standing was rehired to fill one of the vacancies.  The Patrol is currently evaluating a second rehire.

The Patrol attributes the dwindling number of vacancies to a plan that has been in the works for over three years.  Safety and Training Captain Derek Mickelson identified a recruiting gap in Sept. 2012 and suggested that a position at WHP be charged with recruiting as a primary duty.  The plan went into action in July 2014.

Face to face interaction, phone conversations, social media and other web-based platforms enabled all members of the Patrol to recruit heavily.  The agency has had much success finding quality applicants through the strategy.

The Patrol uses a recruiting roster that currently contains over 1,300 names to maintain constant contact with potential applicants.  The increased recruiting effort has also helped fill vacancies in dispatch and port of entry officer positions.

The Patrol has tested 218 applicants at three trooper testing sessions since July 2014.  Since then, the agency has run five academies and processed 779 applications.