A spokesman for the Iowa Department of Public Safety says the new budget bill will allow the department to hire new staff for the first time in three years. Special Agent James Saunders says they’ll be able to hire new state troopers, gaming enforcement officers, D-C-I agents, narcotics agents and fire inspectors. He says they hope to hire at least 25 people, and he says that will allow them to maintain the “status quo” of positions lost to retirement and people who have left. Saunders says officers already working for D-P-S have the first chance to move into open jobs, so they aren’t sure yet of the breakdown on jobs. He says right now they’re in the middle of the internal transfer process — where for example a trooper might transfer to narcotics — so they don’t know how many openings they’ll have in each division. Saunders says it’ll be good to be able to fill the positions that’re open after the transfers are complete. He says they’re happy to see they’ll be able to maintain their level of manpower and won’t go into the hole. Saunders says they’re also trying something new to people into the ranks a little quicker. He says if a position is offered to someone who’s already been certified by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, they’ll be able to take a twelve-week academy instead of the normal 20-week academy for those who aren’t already certified. For more information on the Department of Public Safety jobs, call 515-281-5639, or surf to:www.dps.state.is.us.