The aspiring troopers must also undergo a polygraph test and psychological evaluations.
Capt. David Lee of the West Virginia State Police Academy said this year's cadet class is a little different than most.
He said the cadets began their application process in early 2012 and because of budgetary issues, the process was halted in May 2012. The process resumed in March 2013 when the academy was able to secure funding.
The academy intended to start the 63rd cadet class months ago but the delay pushed it back. In addition, some of the individuals interested in the academy found other opportunities or decided to stay in college during the delay.
Although there were a few that were no longer available because of the delay, the academy was able to secure 21 cadets for their 63rd class.
Smithers said he currently has 44 vacancies and, considering all 21 cadets successfully complete the 25-week training, he will still be in need of 23 state troopers.
He said there are several troopers who will be eligible for retirement in December and there will be more vacancies to fill at that time.
To fill those vacancies quickly, Smithers said the academy's 64th cadet class will be an accelerated program.
"We will not be taking standard applicants for our 64th class," Smithers said. "There are already certified, currently employed police officers that want to become troopers. Those interested will be screened and our preliminary target start date is July 1."
The accelerated program will last 11 weeks and Smithers hopes to acquire a 35-member 64th cadet class.
The 63rd class will be housed and trained at the West Virginia State Police Academy barracks for the next six months.
"Because we have such a small group, we think they will gel pretty quickly and we hope we don't lose any," Smithers said.
Lee said, on average, the academy's attrition rate is 25 percent. However, he said each class is different, with some classes having a higher percentage and others being much lower.
Contact writer John Gibb at john.g...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796.