DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) is lowering the minimum age to become a correctional officer from 19 to 18 years old, according to a release.

“If you’re old enough to vote and serve in the military, you’re now old enough to be a Bristol County corrections officer,” the release read.

Lowering the age will allow high school students to pursue a career as soon as they graduate, the BCSO said. They’ll be able to start the paperwork and interview process at 17 and can start the training academy when they turn 18.

“We’re hearing from 18-year-olds who want to start their law enforcement career here and we’ve had to tell them to come back in a year,” Sheriff Paul Heroux said.

“We’re losing good people, people interested and excited about a law enforcement career at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, because they’re finding other jobs and opportunities between their 18th and 19th birthdays,” he added.

The BSCO is holding a job fair on Wednesday, April 19, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and also on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the annex building.

New correctional officers will earn a $5,000 signing bonus, the BCSO said, as well as incentives for those with certain college degrees and prior military or first-responder experience.

Anyone with questions is asked to send the BCSO an email.