"The Col. of State Police has stated if we get between 600- 650 vacancies he'll have to look at closing 15 stations across the state of Pennsylvania,” said Joseph Kovel, President of Pennsylvania State Police Association. “We are at the point where we have to seriously be concerned.”
It’s estimated that around 1,000 troopers will be eligible for retirement in the next year or two, adding to the problem.
“We have the same number troopers now as we did 12 years ago out on the road that's not acceptable," said Kovel.
Across the state barracks are dealing with the same problem, increased territory and less man power. Kovel said there are plenty of applicants it’s the funding that is the problem.
"Its up to legislators and governors office to ensure that we have enough funding available to put enough cadet classes through to keep Pennsylvania safe," said Kovel.
Each class is at least 100 cadets, it cost the state roughly about $10 million per class to train, educate, outfit and assign over six months.
Despite stations working with fewer troopers they are automatically assigned to cover a community when its local municipality’s police force is not available or closes.
"It is amazing and a testament to the men and woman of Pennsylvania State Police that we're still able to do the job we do day in and day out considering the historic low numbers we have," said Kovel.
It’s not known what barracks would be in jeopardy if the number goes above 600 vacancies.
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