The governor’s proposed budget includes $8-million dollars to pay for 115 new State Police cadets. Even with the new troopers, PSP faces a projected 500 vacancies by the end of June 2013. At Thursday’s Senate Appropriations Committee, Tina Tartaglione (D-Phila.) asked PSP Commissioner Frank Noonan if he is worried they are being spread too thin. “I am concerned,” Noonan responded. “But I do believe we will be able to fulfill our mission. We will fulfill our mission.”
While attrition is eating away at their compliment, Noonan stressed to lawmakers that his top priority is putting troopers on the road, which means PSP’s ever-growing list of auxiliary duties may bear the brunt of staff shortages.
“These numbers, and as the numbers go down, it’s going to require us to do some things that are going to be individually sometimes unpopular,” Noonan said. “We may be thinking of station consolidations.” But Noonan told the panel that a thorough review would be conducted before any decisions are made.
Per Governor Tom Corbett’s request, Noonan is leading a comprehensive review of all PSP operations to ensure that resources are being used effectively. Aside from the new cadet class, PSP is slated for a zero-growth budget that must address nearly $29-million dollars in increased pension and health care costs.