Alabama Wants More Troopers On The Road
Alabama has a shortage of state troopers, and that has other law enforcement having to pick up the slack.
The state's Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier says he wants about 1,100 troopers on patrol, but there are only about 400.
State troopers say the problem isn't finding interested candidates. They say the problem is finding money here at the state house.
This graduation from 2010 was the last time that Alabama hired any new state troopers according to the Department of Public Safety.
Sergeant Steve Jarrett says that it becomes a career for most people.
"It's very rare that a trooper will leave to seek employment elsewhere. And it's not an issue, we have many many applicants that want to be state troopers but we just don't have the funding to hire at this time," said Sgt. Jarrett.
And it's not just troopers who want more help. Montgomery County Chief Deputy Derrick Cunningham says it would make a huge difference, especially with accidents outside of the city limits.
"Normally you will find my deputies arriving on the scene a whole lot sooner, checking on the injuries. And then people have to stand by and wait for a trooper to get there. That's deer strikes, that's vehicle, it normally takes a little while for a trooper to get on the scene," said Chief Cunningham.
The state increased the department of public safety's budget by about 7% this year, but department officials say that's not enough - because troopers do more than patrol the highways
"We have our investigative division, ABI, we have a small aviation unit. Very important. Provides much assistance to the public. They do search and rescue," said Sgt. Jarrett.
Alabama did pass a law this year that will consolidate law enforcement which troopers say will help a little, but that won't go completely into effect until 2015.