HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) Nearly one month after the Perry County Sheriff’s Office laid off more than one dozen of their deputies, another Kentucky law enforcement agency is forced to make the same decision.
This time, Kentucky State Police are making cuts to make up for a nearly $6 million budget deficit by cutting some of the most experienced troopers on the force.
On Friday, state police cut all 20 members of the Trooper R program, which was designed to keep retired troopers with 20 years of experience in rotation.
Five of those troopers were from Post 13 in Hazard, the largest cut than any other post in the state.
“I don’t think they should layoff those policemen, we need those policemen. I don’t know why this came up anyway, we need those people,” Perry County resident Troy Combs said.
To put that into perspective, Post 13 Captain Blake Slone says as of Tuesday, 21 troopers were on the road covering a five county radius. That’s down from 26.
“I hate to see any jobs cut as bad as the economy is and everything. I think if anyone can work, that just better for the economy,” Perry County resident Randy Napier added.
As funds continue to dry up, local law enforcement agencies are forced to work together to make sure public safety remains top priority.
“It’s a tough job as it is already. And it doesn’t seem like you ever have enough man power to cover every situation. You have to do the best you can,” Hazard Police Chief Minor Allen said.
“We’re all concerned about our community and our county and to hear this, that they’re going to have to cut back is really not good. We’re hoping there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Perry County Sheriff Les Burgett added.
Leaders from all three law enforcement agencies say they will work together to help keep your safety at the top of their list.
State police say more than 60 cadets will graduate from the State Police Academy in November and hope that will help with their numbers.