Fund more troopers
The Pennsylvania State Police are responsible for the primary law-enforcement duties for over 85 percent of the commonwealth. That number is only increasing as more local municipalities move to eliminate their forces as they address local budget shortfalls.
With the increasing workload of truck inspections, responding to increased traffic incidents and public disturbances, and receiving more calls for assistance directly related to the expansion of Marcellus shale drilling, additional resources and personnel are needed now, more than ever.
As legislators in Harrisburg debate and pass a budget for 2014-15, it's important to understand what the current proposed funding level for cadet classes will mean for Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association (PSTA) projects our state will still be 400 troopers below complement by the end of the next fiscal year, leaving our department with more vacancies than at any other time in recent history.
Looking toward the 2015-16 fiscal year, expected retirements will overwhelm the department's ability to keep pace with vacancies if we enter into that year more than 400 below complement.
The PSTA certainly understands these are difficult economic times, but one of the core functions of government is public safety. We urge the Corbett administration and the Legislature to recognize this most vital function of state government and increase the funding to provide for additional cadet classes.
If we allow our numbers to decrease further, it likely will result in station closures and much longer response times.
Joseph R. Kovel
The writer is president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association (psta.org).
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.
- Positive & healthy ...
- Ferguson & contradictions
- Sticker shock
- ... Or free-riding fad?
- Thanks for the coverage
- Goodell’s ‘pick-six’
- Russia, not Rice
- More answers, please
- Thomas’ ‘humanity’
- Pols’ real interest