State police reveal cost of local police coverage: $600M

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 24, 2017 1:20 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

(Harrisburg) -- The Pennsylvania State Police says it costs $600 million a year to provide full-time coverage to 2.5 million residents in nearly 1,300 municipalities that don't pay for a local police force.

State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker gave the figure at Thursday's Senate Appropriations Committee hearing. The state police hadn't divulged a cost figure in response to repeated requests by The Associated Press.

Senators' questions about the cost came after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf proposed charging those municipalities an annual $25-per-person fee for the coverage. The proposed fee would raise $63 million, but it's unclear whether the Republican-controlled Legislature would approve it.

That $600 million is roughly half of the state police's $1.2 billion budget, most of which is funded by money constitutionally restricted to highway construction, repair and safety.

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