State Police Barracks
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Tonight we're taking a look at part of Governor Tom Wolfe's latest budget proposal to charge rural communities without their own police departments for relying on State Police for protection. Abc 23's Gary Sinderson reports this comes at the same time the governor is considering closing and consolidating some State Police Barracks. Talk of charging rural communities more for state police protection is not new. It's been discussed before. In the state legislature. But here in Center County, one community not only worried about paying extra, they're also concerned their nearest State Police Barracks will be closing altogether. In Phillipsburg the petitions have hit the streets asking for support in keeping the Phillipsburg State Police Barracks open and not consolidate the barracks with new Rockview Barracks targeted for Benner Township near Bellefonte. We asked the Governor any plans to close any state police barracks? "No not at this point. Not that I know of." So where would the idea of barracks closing come from? Take a look at this document blueprint being used by the governor in making budget cuts. It talks about reducing the physical facilities used by state police. To put more troopers in cars to be used as many offices and reduce the number of barracks. Plus there's the idea of charging rural communities $25 per resident per state police services. The governor admitting they've been using road construction and transportation related revenue for state police expenses. "It's a crisis actually in Pennsylvania. We are -- there are more as more municipalities opt for the free state police coverage, the money to support those State Police actually comes out of the money that was intended to repair bridges and roads. And so the more we actually give free coverage from the State Police, the less we're able to do those roads and bridges that everybody really depends on." More than half of the nearly 2500 communities in Pennsylvania use the State Police. For their law enforcement services.