Secretary of law enforcement paints grim picture to Shoals residents

Shoals

Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier speaks to the Florence Rotary Club about proposed budget cuts and the affects it will have on ALEA. (Carter Watkins / WHNT News 19)

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – For weeks we’ve heard how a proposed house budget would decimate the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Monday afternoon the Florence Rotary Club heard first hand just how bad things look.

Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier had a clear and unabridged message to the club of Shoals residents.

“In the past we have said the general funds in bad shape, so I’m here to communicate to the public how bad the situation is,” Collier stated.

Secretary Collier painted a grim picture. All but four trooper posts would shut-down, 39-driver’s license offices will close, and there would be 99 fewer troopers on the road.

Collier said some of the poorest counties in the state would also have to do without any assistance in investigating major crimes.

“This isn’t a bluff,” said Collier. “It’s my job to make sure the public understands what we’re facing, and if the legislature doesn’t do something to address that then this is what the public can expect.”

According to Secretary Collier, public safety is the core function of state government.

If the legislature is not going to fund public safety, Collier questions what their priorities are.

“You don’t demonstrate that by just talking. You demonstrate that by action and a proposed $39-million budget is an insult, and it’s an insult to me and it’s an insult to these guys who work for me,” Collier stated.

And Collier hopes residents will communicate to their legislators how the proposed cuts would affect them and their everyday lives.

Secretary Collier said it would take $55-million to have level funding for ALEA.

To show how much the department has already trimmed their budget, in 2008 the State Troopers budget alone was $83-million.

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