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Ever wanted to be an MHP Trooper? Here's a look at life on the job

MTN's Kristin Merkel goes on a ride-along
Posted at 8:57 PM, Oct 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-23 22:57:45-04

Have you ever been interested in being a Montana Highway Patrol trooper? Now may be the time.

"We’re out here ensuring the safety of the motoring public," says Sergeant Jay Nelson.

Sgt. Nelson has done this job for a long time.

"I've been doing this job for over 25 years and I still have a ways to go," he says. "The biggest reason I love this job is the people that I get to work with."

During a ride-along with Sgt. Nelson, I got to witness a day in the life of a state trooper, including getting to witness a traffic stop.

Nelson says this job includes much more: "Whether that's stopping a violator that might be breaking Montana state law, whether that's stopping a violator, determining whether they're transporting large sums of drugs across our state, whether it's just stopping to help an individual."

But this kind of job doesn't come without challenges.

"I can remember a lot of wrestling matches on the side of the road over 25 years," says Nelson.

Nelson says the reward outweighs the risks.

"I just got a phone call about a month ago from an individual that I had arrested 15 years ago. She called to thank me again for saving her life," says Nelson.

He believes Montana is a great state to start your career with Highway Patrol.

"Montana has some of the best citizens there are," says Nelson. "They're supportive of law enforcement. This job offers a lot of independence, and I get to go out there and help individuals."

Montana Highway Patrol hires throughout the year. The current hiring cycle ends Nov. 2; for information on how to apply, visit the Montana Highway Patrol web page.