PORTLAND — The Maine Department of Public Safety is scrambling to fill state police vacancies as a wave of troopers becomes eligible for retirement.

Col. Patrick Fleming, state police chief, says there are currently 27 openings, and another 40 troopers are expected to retire in the coming year. He says the state is working to recruit new troopers, but that there will continue to be a shortage because it takes time to train them.

The State Police force is authorized for a complement of 326 personnel, compared to the current level of 299.

He says the Mainers needn’t be alarmed. He says the force is managing vacations and time off, and using overtime, to ensure that adequate numbers of troopers are out on the road.