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.