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Highway Patrol seeks troopers
Billy Prater.jpg
Lt. Billy Prater has been a state trooper for 35 years.

Jobs are available throughout the state – including in law enforcement.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is currently accepting applications for its next class of cadets to start in January of 2022. The deadline to submit your application is this Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 11:59 p.m.

To submit an application, visit www.tn.gov/safety. Click on the scroll at the top of the main page for Highway Patrol applications.

“It’s been an awesome career and I hope I’ve made a difference,” said Highway Patrol Lt. Billy Prater, who lives in Warren County and oversees a four-county area. “It’s a challenge to make the roads safer for those who live here and for those who are traveling through the state. I don’t know how many lives I may have saved over the years, but I find it a very rewarding career.”

Lt. Prater has been with the Highway Patrol for 35 years.

Troopers have statewide jurisdiction. The Highway Patrol is a full-service law enforcement agency which has aviation, K-9 handling, a bomb squad, tactical duties, and crash scene investigation, among other services

It’s much more than writing tickets, although traffic enforcement is part of the job. One underlying goal of the Highway Patrol is to prevent traffic fatalities.

Lt. Prater says with some older troopers in the higher ranks nearing retirement, it creates opportunities for promotion. However, when a trooper is promoted to sergeant, or a sergeant is promoted to lieutenant, it creates a void with their former position.

Lt. Prater said it takes roughly a year to get a trooper through cadet school and fully trained to be out on the road. 

The starting salary for a trooper cadet while in school is $3,216 per month, which increases to $3,619 per month after graduation. This equates to $43,248 annually with an annual 4.5% statutory step raise for the first 10 years. 

With regular pay increases, a trooper can earn $64,536 per year after 10 years of service under the current pay structure. Pay may also increase if you are promoted within the THP.