LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Kentucky State Police are looking for new troopers amidst a substantial shortage. As an initial action, KSP extended its deadline to register for the academy hoping more recruits sign up.

The department is short about 270 troopers right now, creating a serious overload of work for the officers currently working.

KSP stated they need 900 troopers to effectively distribute workload across the state but have not had that number for the last decade, largely due to fewer recruits and higher counts of trooper resignation.

Long shifts and low pay have caused many troopers to leave the force in search of new career opportunities.

Gov. Beshear plans to invest in public safety which would include a substantial pay increase, starting KSP salary at $55,000.

While higher pay is much-appreciated, it is not the reason why troopers joined the state police division.

“While I would welcome it, I would be appreciative of it, at the same time, when I signed up, it wasn’t because of the pay, because I wanted to make a difference in the commonwealth of Kentucky,” said trooper Matt Sudduth.

KSP is off to a good start in combatting understaffing with 70 troopers graduating from the academy this month.