Now, The Patriot-News reports that the state’s proposed budget cuts could force the Pennsylvania State Police to layoff 500 state troopers. As a result, Pennsylvanians who call 911 for emergency assistance may have to wait daysbefore the police can respond:
Imagine calling 911 for the Pennsylvania State Police and not seeing a trooper for hours, even days.
It’s a scenario that state lawmakers and troopers foresee if the department’s budget is cut 5 percent next year, forcing what would be the first layoffs in the state police history.
An internal department document obtained by The Patriot-News forecasts the potential for 400 to 500 trooper layoffs under a budget proposal to trim the department’s spending. That’s approximately 10 percent of the nearly 4,400 troopers currently employed by the department. The cuts would also force stations around the state to close.
The department provides full- or part-time police service to two-thirds of the state’s municipalities and is relied upon by virtually all police departments to provide specialized services such as DNA, drug and ballistics testing.
Pennsylvania State Troopers Association president Bruce Edwards said, “I don’t want to sugarcoat it. That’s what is going to happen.” Edwards says Pennsylvania could have a public safety disaster on its hands.