The State Highway Patrol is graduating the first of two overlapping classes of Ohio cadets in a move expected to beef up a personnel roster that dwindled in recent years as the agency's cadet classes didn't keep pace with its attrition rate.
Eighty-one cadets graduate from the patrol's 153rd class Friday after 20 weeks of training. More new troopers graduate with the 154th class on April 5.
A spokeswoman says their addition is expected to bump up staffing to around 1,600 sworn officers in the state, a level the patrol hasn't seen since 2006.
Lt. Anne Ralston says the patrol ended up short-staffed in recent years because it didn't graduate cadets in 2008 or 2010 and was losing about 60 people annually, mostly through attrition.