For the first time in its history, the North Dakota Highway Patrol opened up its physical fitness assessment to the public.

“I wanted to help change the demographic in law enforcement. There’s not a lot of women in law enforcement, and I see women as kind of being solution makers, ” Sgt. Jenna Clawson Huibregtse said.

Twenty-three recruits are giving it their all when running the Critical Task Assessment Course, which will determine their physical fitness for the job.

“It’s the most intimidating portion of entering the background and the medical, and all of those things. When it comes to it, do you have what it takes physically? People don’t know until they get here,” Huibreigtse said.

Climbing steps and crawling under hurdles are just some of the tasks participants must do to determine if they are physically fit for the Highway Patrol.

The entire course must be completed in under six minutes and 30 seconds.

Brady Aberle is a 21-year-old University of North Dakota college student who competed in the tryouts.

“I did pretty good. I think I passed it for not being in shape,” Aberle said.

Aberle said his eagerness to wanting to wear the badge and blue goes back to his childhood.

“I just kind of knew that I wanted to go into law enforcement since an early age. This past summer I did an internship with the highway patrol,” Aberle said.

NDHP is looking for recruits that come from all types of career backgrounds.

“We have people who have teaching degrees, physical education degrees. I have a cultural anthropology degree. We know criminal justice degrees are important, but it brings a nice well-rounded trooper when they have different experiences,” Huibregtse said.

Applications will open on March 1. They currently have about seven vacancies.