Virginia State Police: Low pay causing trooper shortage

Virginia State Police

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The head of the Virginia State Police says his agency is experiencing a severe manpower shortage following the departure of numerous troopers over poor salaries and an unsustainable workload.

News outlets report Col. W. Steven Flaherty sent a memo to his department Friday, noting that 103 troopers and 76 civilian employees left the state police in the first nine months of 2016. He says a majority of those departing were seeking better-paying jobs in other police agencies.

The memo says there are currently 116 sworn vacancies in the field, but the department is actually about 220 troopers short, since about 100 troopers are still in training.

Flaherty says the departures escalated following Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s August announcement that the state is facing a $1.5 billion shortfall in its two-year budget.

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