Among 20 new hires, Kansas Highway Patrol still has nearly 100 openings

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OLATHE, Kan. -- As the holiday season gets closer you may notice more manpower on the streets. 20 new state troopers will join the Kansas Highway Patrol in the coming weeks, but some folks worry this still isn't enough.

The troopers just graduated from the academy last week and will begin working alongside veteran troopers. But even with those additional troopers, the Kansas Highway Patrol still has nearly 100 openings and the shortages are being seen across the state.

In the past decade the population of Kansas has grown nearly six percent, but troopers say the number of law enforcement officers has struggled to keep up.

Currently 27 counties in Kansas do not have any troopers assigned to them.

One reason for the recent shortage is because of the salary, but starting in January troopers will get a raise.

"For recruiting it makes it really good for us because we can look at the recruit and say this is what you're going to make in the Academy, this is what you're going to make when you graduate, this is what you're going to make as a four year trooper," Lt. Adam Winters said.

Some still worry about the impact this shortage will have on response times. Some troopers say they have had to drive nearly an hour to respond to a call. Others have had to cover several counties because no one was working there.

The Kansas Highway Patrol is currently accepting applications for the next wave of troopers. If you want to be considered, all applications must be submitted by January 5th.