State trooper shortage at ‘critical’ stage

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama State Troopers could be facing more cuts if they can’t get more funding from the state. The Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Spencer Collier, is scheduled to go before the budget committee Wednesday in Montgomery.

He’ll be talking about the issues facing troopers, like being short-staffed. State Trooper Chuck Daniel told us about the struggles they face just keeping up with traffic accidents. Last week’s pile up in Springville tied up seven troopers from two counties for hours. In fact, there is one county in the state — Perry county — that has no trooper assigned to it at all.

It means there’s a lot of Alabama highway that’s not being patrolled and traffic laws going unenforced.

“All those laws are for a purpose and it’s to promote public safety, but without the presence of law enforcement those laws will just be a suggestion,” said Trooper Daniel.

There are about 431 troopers patrolling the state. Recent safety guidelines suggest there should be 1,000. The latest trooper class to be brought in had only 21 troopers.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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