LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas State Police (ASP) want to give new recruits a big bump in pay.

Currently, starting pay for ASP is about $42,500 a year. The hope is to raise that to up to $52,000 or more.

The goal is to help with low retention and recruitment numbers, which The Arkansas Department of Public Safety says has taken a hit.

In 2013, state police saw more than 1,300 applicants. This year, the school that’s about to start only saw 226 applications.

“If we have expectations as high as we do for law enforcement, which are fair expectations, we have to be fair with the investment,” Jami Cook, Cabinet Secretary at the Arkansas Department of Public Safety said.

Lawmakers will meet Feb. 14 for a session focused on the state budget. If approved, the new salaries will start on July 1.