State troopers face crucial staff, funding shortage

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The sad truth is that state troopers have less than half of what they need to properly patrol state roads.

There is even a county without a single trooper assigned to it.

"I have personally driven from Huntsville to Mobile and not seen a single state trooper," said Trooper Curtis Summerville, spokesman for the agency's north Alabama posts.

Some may think lack of troopers is a good thing, because that makes it less likely for you to get caught speeding -- but a bare trooper force makes it more likely for you to be stuck on the side of the road too.

"This is a matter of safety, this is not a matter of getting an increase in our pay salaries or anything of that nature," said Summerville.

The Alabama General Fund puts money into the department -- but lately, it hasn't been enough.

"We're down to about 431 troopers in the state of Alabama," Summerville explained

Sounds like a lot? Not when basic safety guidelines says we need more than 1,000.

Contrary to popular belief, writing more tickets doesn't mean more money for the agency, as a matter of fact, the only ticket money that goes straight to the department is a portion of seatbelt citations.

As far as recruitment, it's not a lack of interest, but a lack of funds.

A federal grant brought in the first trooper class in five years. The average class is anywhere from 40 - 80.

This new class held only 21 new troopers.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.