If you're a 35-year-old woman looking for a career change and can run 1.5 miles in 15 minutes, 56 seconds and do 25 situps and 11 pushups in a minute each, then the Washington State Patrol wants to meet you.
The law enforcement agency that has about 650 troopers patrolling state highways is starting a hiring blitz to find 60 new cadets in the next couple of weeks.
The first big challenge, however, is passing the physical fitness test.
"The millennium generation is not ... physically fit," said Trooper Tina Wallman, the state patrol's recruiter in Eastern Washington. "We're not looking for superman or superwoman, just someone who is physically fit."
Testing requirements vary by age and gender. Anyone ages 19 1/2 to 65 can apply. Applicants who pass the physical test, then complete a written exam and can move on to interviews and detailed background checks.
Bob Rupp, the state patrol's oldest living retired trooper and former Benton County sheriff, said he loved being a trooper with the best state patrol agency in the nation.
"We wanted the best, and we ended up taking the best," said Rupp, 97.
Retirement and attrition are going to leave openings in the agency across the state, and officials just got approval to run a special second academy class this year.
The 101st class starts in December, but it's a long process to get through the testing stage, so they're starting now.
"We're looking for folks who come to us with that 'Service with Humility,' which is our motto. Folks who want to do something for the community and do something for the state," Deputy Chief David Karnitz said at a news conference Monday in Kennewick. "We're hoping to get 60 of the best troopers we can get identified and trained."
Wallman will be at WorkSource, 815 N. Kellogg St. in Kennewick, from noon to 4 p.m. May 3 to take applications, with testing scheduled for May 4-5.
Getting people to apply is a challenge, Wallman said, because, "I don't think they have the faith to do it."
But, she said, the hardest part is "making the commitment and filling out the application." She said people may just be surprised at what they can accomplish.
"We're doctors. We're nurses. We're veterinarians," she said. "Everybody that's out there has the potential."
And the state patrol provides a long career, with the opportunity to do a variety of tasks.
Gail Clark of West Richland wanted to be a trooper ever since he was 7.
"If I had my way, I'd still be out there. I love the state patrol. I loved being a trooper," said Clark, who retired with a disability in 1981 after being hit by a drunken driver while on duty. "I envy these guys. ... It's a good way of life."
Clark, Rupp and three other retired troopers took part in Monday's news conference to discuss the benefits of working for the state patrol.
"You won't find a better organization to work for," said Dennis English, a retired trooper who began his career in the Tri-Cities in 1959. "There's security for you and your family through the next 25 years and longer, if you want to stay there. And you're working for probably the finest law enforcement agency in the nation."
Deputy Chief Karnitz said the agency filled the 100th basic academy class with everyone from their eligibility list, so they're starting from scratch now. More than 1,000 people will need to apply and be tested to get 60 suitable hires, he said.
Troopers could get assigned to detachments all over the state, but Capt. Shawn Berry, the District 3 commander, said there might be up to four positions in the Tri-Cities that will need to be filled.
Rupp, who served three terms as sheriff in Benton County after retiring from the state patrol in 1973, said he'd be a trooper again right now if he could.
"I could do it. My mind's so good, but my body's weak," the Kennewick resident said.
For more information on the hiring process and an application, go to www.wsp.wa.gov/ employment/trooper.htm.