Senate passes budget to put 100 more troopers on the roads
May 25,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

Safer Oregon highways and communities will result from increased funding for State Police

SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Senate this week passed Senate Bill 5533, the budget for the Oregon State Police. The budget includes funding for an additional 100 new patrol troopers and increased funding for the Criminal Investigations and Forensics divisions, allowing the department to better combat identity theft, methamphetamine use and address DNA backlog issues.

“Securing more troopers for our highways is absolutely crucial,” said Senator Ben Westlund (DTumalo), carrier of the bill. “This budget is a great step forward in returning to a level of protection that Oregonians expect and deserve.”

Funding for State Police services has been in a steady decline, with trooper levels far below those seen in the 1980’s. Over the same period, Oregon’s population has increased, meaning more drivers on the roads and less police protection. This budget puts more troopers on the road and increases the ability of the department to fight crime.

“This budget does more than just put troopers on the road, fight meth and combat identity theft,” said Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose). “This budget is about rebuilding a long-neglected but crucial department.”

“This budget means returning more protection to coastal communities and rural areas that rely on State Police for help,” added Senator Joanne Verger (D-District 5). Increased funding for State Police and putting more troopers on the road is part of the Senate Democratic Agenda to create safe neighborhoods and secure communities.

Senate Bill 5533 will now move to the House for a floor vote.