TRENTON – More civilian hires will allow the State Police to put more troopers on the road, the Assembly Budget Committee was told today.
The proposed $958 million Fiscal Year 2013 budget for the Law and Public Safety Department, which oversees the State Police, the Attorney General’s office, and the Juvenile Justice Commission, calls for new police vehicles, hiring more civilian employees, and new troopers, among other enhancements.
There are plans for two new classes in April and June 2013, which will graduate in October and December, respectively. These classes will add 225 new troopers. Some $1 million in training funds are included, much of which is produced from motor vehicle surcharges. Some $3.2 million in surcharges will go toward police salaries.
“These graduates will be a welcome addition to the State Police and it is our hope, in fact our expectation, that the new classes will also increase diversity within the State Police ranks,” State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said.
He said the State Police will be able to redeploy 75 troopers to do road duty instead of administrative work, once 25 new civilian employees are hired. The department is already interviewing for those positions.
In addition to new troopers, the budget calls for 250 new police vehicles, which are needed to replace many aging, high-mileage cruisers.
In the past year, the department accomplished many goals, from combating public corruption, gang activity, a $2 million fraud scheme involving unemployment checks, and the take-down of a Middlesex County sheriff for a “jobs for cash” scheme, Chiesa told the budget panel.
Despite the nearly 5 percent budget cut from FY2012, Chiesa said he’s confident the department’s goals can be met.
“We are prepared to meet every mission we have. We’ll be smart and efficient in our resources.”