By CBS13 Staff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The California Highway Patrol is launching a new campaign to fill 1,000 vacant positions across the state over a multi-year process.

The CHP is calling the campaign “Join the CHP 1,000,” with the stated goal of reaching candidates who may not have ever considered an opportunity like this before.

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“To meet the increasing demand for our services throughout the state, over the next few years our law enforcement family will be growing exponentially,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray.  “We are excited to welcome new members to the team so that the CHP can continue to provide the level of service the public has come to expect.”

To become a CHP cadet, applicants must be between the ages of 20 and 35, be a United States citizen or a permanent resident who has applied for citizenship, have a high school diploma or equivalent, pass a physical abilities test and a written exam, and pass a thorough background check with no felony convictions on record.

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“It requires a special kind of character and special brand of bravery to be a California Highway Patrol Officer,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Our entire way of life – our freedoms, our peace, our pursuit of happiness – depends on those fearless, faithful few determined to protect it.  I look forward to welcoming the next set of officers committing to serve California.”

Cadets at the CHP Academy in West Sacramento are paid $5,563 per month for their 26 weeks there. New officers are deployed to cities across California after graduation and can earn over $100,000 in their first year with the department.

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“Anyone who may be wondering if they have what it takes to become a CHP officer, let me be the first to tell you that you do,” added Commissioner Ray.  “If you are compassionate, driven to serve, and have a desire to learn, the CHP provides some of the best law enforcement training in the world and we will do all we can to ensure your success.”