Dropout rate complicates Pa. state trooper training process

    Training a class of state police troopers may seem like a straightforward way to fill the ranks.

    This year, however, there are a lot of unknowns in the process in Pennsylvania.

    Much is riding on the next few months for the state police, which has hundreds of vacancies to fill and not enough money to fill them.

    Some 115 cadets are set to head to the state police academy in Hershey next month.

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    But about 20 percent of them won’t make it, says spokesman Sgt. Anthony Manetta. And if they quit deep into the six-month program, the state can’t back-fill their spots.

    “For a finite period of time as we lose cadets, we can replace,” he said. “But for every day that goes by when we have to replace a cadet, they’ve lost a day’s training time and we can only catch them up so far with the material that we have to provide to them.”

    Not even the money for the cadet class is a done deal.

    The $7.9 million needed to pay for the class was proposed by the governor and state senators. But the spending plan isn’t due to be finalized until the end of June — after the cadets start their training.

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