Alabama faces shortage of state troopers

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A shortage of officers is making it difficult for state troopers to keep the highway safe.

"I've seen so many people lose their lives in 22 years. It's more than I care to see. I've given countless death notifications. I've seen lives lost," Sgt. Steve Jarrett said.

Right now there are 342 troopers patrolling the state. ALEA believes that number should be closer to 750.

We asked Gov. Kay Ivey about the shortage while she was in Birmingham on Thursday.

"I don't know, that seems high to me. We had that as a priority. We got more money for troopers this past times," Ivey said.

Gov. Ivey said she would rely on ALEA for future recommendations. The Alabama legislature approved $3 million to hire 30 more troopers this year. But one state lawmaker says that's not enough.

"I think we are still behind as far as staffing and manning the state trooper offices around the state. We are last in the southeast," said Senator Cam Ward of Alabaster.

Ward said the legislature will have to continue to find money to hire more troopers.

"It's a big stress on troopers. They have a very dangerous job. They are trying to cover more territory than what was intended for their jobs. They are stressed to a breaking point." Ward said.

Ward said the legislature would again to look at funding more troopers out here on the interstate, but expect them to take a while to catch up because the state neglected the problem for so long.

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