HARRISBURG, Pa., June 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the Pennsylvania State Police prepares for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker calls on lawmakers to pass a comprehensive, responsible budget that allows the department to continue to provide exceptional 21st century police and public safety services to the residents of Pennsylvania.
The current House Republican plan would eliminate the Governor's $25-per-resident fee for municipalities without their own police force and remove the proposed fee increase for background checks. The proposal fails to identify an alternative funding stream, resulting in a $91 million shortfall in the state police budget.
"In the simplest terms, the drastic cuts as outlined in House Bill 218 would negatively impact public safety," Blocker said. "The budget would force the elimination of upcoming cadet classes and raise the possibility of trooper furloughs, immediately resulting in fewer troopers patrolling our highways and neighborhoods to prevent and address criminal behavior."
Blocker noted that the department is currently 500 members below its full allotted complement. With more than 1,500 active-duty troopers soon eligible for retirement, it is more important than ever to continue to fund future cadet classes in order to attract a diverse group of qualified applicants to the state police. Governor Wolf's budget proposal recognizes this critical need, allocating funds for three cadet classes which will add approximately 300 troopers to the department.
"Maintaining an adequate staffing level that at the very least keeps pace with attrition is critical to supporting the patrol and criminal investigation functions of the Pennsylvania State Police, which are the backbone of the department," Blocker said. "Compounding a wave of retirements with budget-mandated furloughs would be short-sighted and dangerous."
The Pennsylvania State Police remains dedicated to controlling costs and serving as responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. The department continues to work with lawmakers from both parties, and Governor Wolf, to develop a budget that responsibly allocates the commonwealth's limited financial resources.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ryan Tarkowski, 717-783-5556
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SOURCE Pennsylvania State Police