The Kentucky State Police is struggling with a manpower shortage, an aging and high-mileage fleet, a lack of long guns and failing radio equipment.
Statewide, the agency has about 840 sworn officers, only about 500 of whom are road troopers. The agency is considered fully staffed at 1,070 sworn law enforcement officers, said Lt. Brad Arterburn, branch commander of recruitment based in Frankfort. More than 100 are eligible to retire.
State police need 260 cars within 12 to 18 months, then about 180 new cars every year to retire the aging fleet. Currently, some cars have as many as 200,000 miles, Sanders said. New troopers from the last cadet class received cars with an average of 140,000 miles.
In addition to vehicles, some KSP troopers may also soon face the reality of being outgunned.
“The other issue is rifles,” KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders told lthe state’sawmakers. “I learned after becoming a member of this agency that we were carrying Army surplus rifles, M16s. These are Vietnam-era rifles. And then about a month ago, we got a notice from DOD (U.S. Department of Defense) that they were going to recall all of our rifles.
If all of the M16 guns are recalled, that will leave some troopers without a long gun, Sanders told the Daily News.
KSP’s radio equipment is also dying, Sanders told lawmakers.