HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed 2012-13 budget will allow Pennsylvania State Police to add a cadet class of 115 troopers to help with the decrease in staffing this year, Commissioner Frank Noonan said.
“Patrol operations are the foundation in our efforts to safeguard Pennsylvania,” Noonan said. “Across the state, communities face the harsh realities of gun violence and drug addiction – and certainly having to do more with less. Our numbers continue to decrease because of budget constraints and trooper retirements, but adding a cadet class this summer will help support state police functions.”
“Although these are very difficult economic times, Corbett continues to make public safety his number-one priority so the Pennsylvania State Police can continue to deliver services to our citizens,” Noonan said.
Among the proposed changes in the new budget:
- In order to address attrition, Corbett’s proposed budget provides $7.9 million for a new class of 115 cadets at the Pennsylvania State PoliceAcademy to begin in June. With the added class, state police project approximately 500 vacancies by June 2013. The greatest challenge facing the state police is ensuring that funding is available to maintain an adequate complement of enlisted personnel in the field.
- Recognizing the importance of the support provided to the department’s enlisted personnel by civilian employees, Corbett’s budget does not include any furloughs of enlisted members or civilians.
- The budget also recommends a change in the fine-sharing revenue agreement for state police who patrol municipalities that lack their own local police force. The fund from tickets issued by troopers is projected to receive approximately $8 million annually and will be used to purchase equipment, including radio equipment and other protective devices.
- The governor’s proposed budget includes funding to replace higher-mileage patrol vehicles. This will enable the department to replace those vehicles considered less than safe for our troopers.
- The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement receives funding to cover the cost of liquor control enforcement activities. Corbett’s proposed budget will fund an additional Liquor Enforcement Officer Trainee class this calendar year. Additional liquor enforcement officers will augment existing vacancies in the bureau.
- Corbett’s budget also includes funding to support critical systems such as the Criminal History Database, the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network and the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, all of which provide essential information and services for troopers and municipal police officers across the state.
“Governor Corbett has tasked us with evaluating operations to ensure that resources are being used in the most effective manner,” Noonan said. “Our command staff will conduct a comprehensive review of all areas, including the consolidation of stations and aviation operations, for possible savings and improvements – while not decreasing service to our citizens.”
“Before any decision is made we will evaluate all options and certainly focus on the factors that must be considered to make sure public safety is not compromised,” he added. “We will continue to transition highly-trained officers from desk jobs to patrol duties, which will elevate the department’s community presence and improve response capabilities throughout Pennsylvania, especially in rural areas. It boils down to creating a safer environment for our citizens.”
In November 2011, the Office of Homeland Security was fused with the Pennsylvania State Police to increase integration with law enforcement personnel.
Visit the Pennsylvania State Police online at www.psp.state.pa.us.