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Fri Feb 05 19:27:24 PST 2016
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State troopers cuts: Will money or mouth cause them?
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Ken Curtis

There are rumblings around the Statehouse that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency could be on the chopping block. State troopers could vanish from the highway. If not in all counties, in several. The reason---funding cuts. And perhaps a man who doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. ALEA Secretary Spencer Collier wants $23-million in additional funding next year. He won’t get it. Neither will any other agency get what it requested. Without additional funding, the number of state troopers patrolling rural roads almost certainly won’t increase. Collier claims there are 1100 troopers needed in Alabama. The state has 420. He concedes they could be removed from some counties. The duties of traffic control and accident investigation outside the jurisdiction of municipal police would become the responsibility of county sheriffs. Smaller counties might feel the pinch most due to limited staff. For instance, Henry County has only 15 deputies---and that counts investigators and civil process servers. Collier perturbed lawmakers last year when he nearly doubled the price of driver licenses. He then insulted them last week. That’s when he said legislators won’t provide adequate funding to the agency then they “run home, get before the television cameras and talk about how pro-law enforcement they are.” Basic rule of success. Never bite off the hand that feeds you. Maybe Mr. Collier is about to learn that lesson.


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