CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia State Police officials say the agency needs more troopers, particularly minority officers.
Lt. Reggie Patterson said the agency has 12 black male troopers, one black female trooper, 18 white female troopers, five Hispanic male troopers and one Hispanic female trooper.
There are 698 troopers. State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers said the agency needs an additional 275 troopers.
"Truly, we are in the crossroads of our agency," Smithers said. "We are the premier law enforcement agency. We take pride in ourselves in getting the job done."
Media outlets report that Smithers and Patterson discussed the agency's staffing needs Monday during a legislative interim meeting.
Smithers told lawmakers that 22 of the State Police's 60 detachments are manned by four or fewer troopers.
Thirty-six positions funded by the Legislature are vacant. Smithers said at least 10 troopers could retire in December.