Corbett budgeting to train hundreds of new state troopers
Gov. Tom Corbett said on Tuesday his 2013-14 budget would pay to hire 290 state police cadets and 90 civilian police dispatchers to brace the state police against a wave of expected retirements and growing demands from rural communities without police forces.
“This is, by no means, going to catch us up to where we need to be, but it's a start,” Corbett said during a news conference at the state police barracks in Moon.
State police Commissioner Frank Noonan said scores of retirements would offset some of the cost of the hires. He estimated the hiring would increase the bureau's costs about $38 million.
“We need to start thinking about how we are providing police services, particularly in suburban and rural places,” Corbett said, noting state police patrol municipalities without police forces. “That's a lot of miles, a lot of acreage, and those municipalities are not contributing at all to the cost of the state police.”
Corbett said the state can afford the additional staffing in part because the Legislature last year passed a bill that dedicates half of traffic fines issued by state police to a state police academy fund. Lawmakers estimated it would generate about $4 million a year.
“Before that, it went to the municipality and the county, I guess, and it wasn't getting to the state police at all,” Corbett said.
Ninety cadets are set to begin 27 weeks of training next month at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey under the state's budget.
The additional 290 cadets would be phased in over three classes slated to start in August, November and April 2014. It wasn't clear where they would be stationed.
In the 2012-13 fiscal year, 136 state police retired or said they plan to do so. Corbett's office said 1,243 troopers are eligible to retire by the end of June. In a similar announcement in February, Corbett said the state would hire 115 troopers.
State police have about 4,100 troopers; the 2012-13 budget authorized up to 4,680. Corbett said hiring dispatchers would free troopers to patrol.
Joseph Kovel, president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, urged the Legislature to protect the money budgeted for hiring.
On top of retirements, Kovel said troopers are contending with heavier workloads because they are conducting more roadside truck inspections, responding to more traffic accidents and fielding more calls for help related to natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale.
Corbett plans to give his annual budget address next Tuesday.
Jeremy Boren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers-Texans game changers: Bell’s 43-yard catch provides spark
- Steelers use 3 late first-half TDs to stun Texans
- Rookie Bryant sparks deep passing game
- Rossi: Steelers’ season all about going big
- 12-year-old’s donated heart joins families, lets her memory live
- Steelers notebook: Adams replaces concussed Gilbert
- Geibel goalie saves game during shootout, beats Carlynton
- Pittsburgh police officers start wearing video cameras
- State Supreme Court Justice McCaffery suspended in email porn scandal
- Riverview embracing underdog role in WPIAL first-round win
- Serra Catholic boys soccer team loses WPIAL 1st-round game to Avonworth, 1-0