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Answers about troopers

| Friday, July 19, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Answers about troopers

Responding to a domestic dispute in North Union Township on June 29, two officers from the Pennsylvania State Police Uniontown barracks ended up proving my point about public safety in Fayette County.

First, they shot and killed a man who reportedly ignored verbal commands and pointed a handgun at them, demonstrating my contention that crime is out of control and we can no longer consider any police call routine.

Second, those two troopers were placed on administrative duties while the shooting is investigated, taking two more badly needed officers out of crime-fighting circulation for who knows how long and further straining local manpower.

Back on June 17, the state police in Harrisburg received a right-to-know request from me, seeking to find out the trooper complement at the Uniontown barracks, the number of unfilled vacancies and the potential number of retirees as of June 30.

One week after receiving my information request, the state police wrote back that they would need an additional 30 days to reply because “the extent or nature of the request precludes a response within the required time period.”

Statewide, the trooper complement has at least 465 vacant positions — and that's before any retirements went into effect June 30.

What I want to know — and what I clearly believe is public information — is how short of troopers we are, and may be, at the ultra-busy Uniontown barracks.

Timothy S. Mahoney

Uniontown

The writer is the state representative for the 51st District.

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