State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

More and more, state troopers picking up where local coverage leaves off

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Mar 18, 2015 5:24 PM
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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Cities, boroughs, and townships facing fiscal burdens they can't dodge are cutting costs where they can.

For 25 municipalities last year, according to the Pennsylvania State Police, that meant dissolving the local police department. State troopers are left to pick up the slack, without a compensating boost in resources.

"If this trend continues, there will be stresses on the organization," said State Police Acting Commissioner Marcus Brown, adding that since he took office in late January, four more local police agencies dissolved.

"It's not just a stress on us, obviously," said Brown. "It's a stress on the state and the state budget as we do this."

Democratic Senator Judy Schwank of Berks County said lawmakers need to think about a solution to relieve some of the pressures on the state police.

"I share that fear that someday, some third-class city is going to say, here's the keys, you take over the police force," said Schwank.

Brown says the trend underscores the need to increase his agency's staffing levels. Governor Tom Wolf has proposed funding to increase active troopers to the highest level in over a decade.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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Comments: 2

  • Larry img 2015-03-18 20:17

    This is a perfect example of the need for regional or county policing.

    Those municipalities without there own police force that use state police for non state policing should be assessed fees.

  • Tom Joad img 2015-03-19 17:13

    I agree with Larry that municipalities without their own police force should be assessed a fee for state police coverage. This has been introduced before, although with an exclusion for municipalities that fall below a certain minimum population threshold. It was somewhere between 2000 and 10000 residents. However, you'll never get this by the likes of Rep. Stephen Bloom and his like minds.

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