INDIANAPOLIS - From cracking down on drunk drivers to solving grisly murders, the Indiana State Police is an elite force for good. For the first time, ISP is exclusively giving Fox 59 a rare glimpse into the making of an Indiana State trooper.
For the next year, our cameras will follow the selection process of the 74th recruit class.
According to the ISP, around 1,400 people wanted to join this class, but only about a thousand were invited to take the written exam at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in November.
It is the SAT of the ISP.
"It is based on what a trooper would do from one day to the next," explained Lt. Michael Wylie with ISP’s Human Resources Division.
This is where we met DeMarqueis Harvey. The 23-year-old grew up in south side Chicago.
"South side of Chicago… can be very rough, you know, and growing up there taught me a lot. You know taught me how to run, jump up over fences!"
Harvey has big dreams and he is determined to fulfill them.
"I kind of want to be Superintendent one day,” he laughed. "I wanna make the difference in the world."
24-year-old Katie Layman also has a dream. She is a third year law student attending the Valparaiso University Law School in Valparaiso. She said practicing law has never been her true dream job. She originally faced push-back when she told her family what she really wanted to do.
"Friends and family think maybe it's better to practice law than enforce it," she said.
Now, she is finally getting the support and opportunity to do both things.
"I didn't even know that the Indiana State Police had attorneys or that that was a possibility and then it clicked,” she explained. "This is perfect. Both worlds combined into one. I could do both and be happy."
Brian Lucas is getting a second chance. The 36-year-old father of two young kids is currently lives in Sellersburg and is employed at Humana.
"I actually got accepted two years ago to the police academy; however I had to drop out, because of personal reasons."
Lucas explained that this time around, he was 100% ready to commit and make it to graduation.
"I try to be a kind caring person… I'm always willing to help a neighbor."
For others, the reasons for joining the ISP are much deeper.
"When I was little I had a cousin, Brittney Hott…” starts Anne Malinoff of Hobart. “She was murdered. And from there when the officers found the people who did it, it really brought, like, our family a good relief. And I want to be that relief for other families."
The 21-year-old doesn’t just have the mental drive. She said she is more than physically prepared.
"I do mixed martial arts so I'm really physically fit and I'm in the military," said Malinoff.
No matter whom they are, they all have fears about what’s to come. The next steps will take them through a grueling physical test. If they can pass, they’ll have to impress ISP troopers during an intense interview and then take a polygraph exam.
"I'm pretty nervous about the interview process. I'm not the best at interviews," admitted 21-year-old Mitchell Markel of Carmel.
"Honestly? What freaks me out the most is doing push-ups,” Layman said smiling. “Of all things, I just wanna get 25 push-ups and then I'll be okay."
But will they make the cut? It takes more than hopes and dreams to make the 74th recruit class. Fox 59 will show you these men and women stretched to the limit as they try to pass the 'Trooper Test.'