W.Va. State Police says more troopers needed - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

W.Va. State Police says more troopers needed

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia State Police officials say the agency needs more troopers, particularly minority officers.

Lt. Reggie Patterson says the agency has 12 black male troopers, one black female trooper, 18 white female troopers, five Hispanic male troopers and one Hispanic female trooper.

There are a total 698 troopers. State police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers says the agency needs an additional 275 troopers.

Media outlets report that Smithers and Patterson discussed the agency's staffing needs Monday during a legislative interim meeting.

Patterson is the agency's recruitment coordinator. He told lawmakers that he's trying to recruit more minority candidates. But finding and retaining talent is a challenge because of money and other issues.

Smithers says 22 of the state police's 60 detachments are manned by four or fewer troopers.

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