Virginia State Police Facing Extreme Personnel Shortage

The Virginia State Police is experiencing a severe manpower shortage, creating policing deficits on state roadways that officials say make highway safety unsustainable in the long term.

The Virginia State Police is experiencing a severe manpower shortage, creating policing deficits on state roadways that officials say make highway safety unsustainable in the long term.

In the first nine months of 2016, 103 sworn employees and 76 civilian employees have left the department. There currently are 116 sworn vacancies in the field, according to a Sept. 16 memo by Col. W. Steven Flaherty, the agency’s superintendent. The memo was distributed to state police employees Friday and obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“The majority of those leaving are doing so to seek better-paying employment in other local, state and federal agencies,” Flaherty writes, adding that applications to join the state police have fallen 48.5 percent since February.

The agency’s starting salary of $36,207 for troopers is among the lower police employment wages in Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

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