Alabama State Troopers Calling on Legislature to Ease Trooper Shortage

Alabama State Troopers are saying accidents, fatalities, and injuries on the road are up and they believe it’s because of a shortage of troopers.

“There’s not an area I don’t think in the state that have the manpower that they need to sustain their patrol coverage,” says Lt. David Steward, President of the Alabama State Trooper Association.

Right now, there are less than 300 troopers on Alabama’s roads causing delays for people needing assistance and less visibility to slow drivers down.

“It’s nothing at fault of the agency, I think it’s the budget that they’ve had to work with that the legislature has approved,” says Steward.

Troopers are hoping to hire several hundred troopers. But Governor Kay Ivey’s proposed budget calls for only 30 additional troopers.

“I think thirty is a start. I’m hoping that it will be more the following year. Thirty is a good number but we definitely need more than that,” says Steward.

“This has been a problem that has been a long time coming for many, many years but we’ve rarely been in a position to hire personnel,” says Neil Tew, Executive Director of the Alabama State Trooper Association.

Officials say there has also been a problem recruiting as they compete with other agencies.

5 to 10 years ago we would hire troopers and then we would literally have thousands of individuals apply for the position to get on the register. We’ve seen that list shrink by 70 or even 80 percent,” says Tew.

They say only one trooper covering multiple counties, just doesn’t cut it, when it comes to preventing accidents.

“As investigations have shown in the past, high rates of speed are one of our leading causes of traffic crashes,” says Steward.

Officials say a recent study from the University of Alabama says the state needs around a thousand troopers on the highways.

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