Alabama Law Enforcement Agency warns how state budget cuts would impact your safety

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ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – State troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency collectively worry about the people they watch over every day.

Sr. Trooper Johnathan Appling, a public information officer for the agency, warned, “If this budget passes, then the safety of every citizen, every visitor to this state will be jeopardized.”

Appling is reacting to the proposal to cut $16 million from the agency’s budget, which he says has already been slashed to a dangerous degree.

“We’re already about 600 troopers short of what we need,” Appling said.  He insists the agency will lose another 100 troopers if the cuts go through.

They’ll be laid off along with two-thirds of the support staff, and all but three trooper posts will close.  There’s one more painful possibility, too.

“Anyone who needs a driver’s license service will have to go to either Birmingham, Montgomery or Mobile for those services,” Appling insisted.  “There will not be any driver license services here in Huntsville.”

Even worse, he says, will be the wait time when you need a trooper quickly, for example, with an emergency or wreck.

“A lot of times citizens are having to wait an hour for a trooper.  Well, that may become three hours now,” he explained.

Appling also warns the troopers would no longer be available to help with security for special events or even natural disasters.

He urges anyone with the same worries as troopers to contact their legislators.

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