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Gov. Beshear wants to improve public safety in KSP’s new budget plan

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 4:13 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Andy Beshear joined officials from Kentucky State Police and the Justice and Safety Cabinet in Frankfort for the announcement of a potentially historic investment into public safety.

The governor announced recommendations to raise the starting pay of Kentucky State Police troopers by $15,000 and dispatchers by $8,000.

One of the ways KSP is seeing progress is through increasing diversity. Sgt. Michael Murriell said that they are receiving the most minority and female applicants that the agency has ever seen.

“We as an agency, the Kentucky State Police, are excited about the direction that we are going in, but we know that we do have more work to do,” Sgt. Murriell said.

In addition to these competitive salaries that will support retention of both troopers and dispatchers, Governor Beshear requested $12.2 million of the budget go towards an integrated video recording system.

It would be the first time funding is set aside for this kind of expense.

KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. said the system could include body cameras, weapon cams, and in-car cams.

“Especially those that are on the road and that are alone, that are pulling somebody over for a DUI or who are going into a domestic disturbance call, these are really critical for everybody’s safety,” Gov. Beshear said.

Governor Beshear believes lawmakers can and should pass these proposals when the General Assembly convenes in January.

“The level we’ve gotten down to with Kentucky State Police or even local law enforcement is unacceptable and it compromises safety. Many Republican lawmakers have been talking to me about this, and I believe that there’s more than that an appetite to address this. But it’s also the right thing to do,” Gov. Beshear said.

Governor Beshear called on all law enforcement officers to be included in hero pay. He has proposed $400 million be set aside from American Rescue Plan Act funding for these bonuses.

The Governor also recommended a $600 stipend increase from $4,000 to $4,600 annually for all law enforcement officers who complete their state-mandated 40 hours of training.

This money would come from the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund.

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