Retired state troopers suiting back up to serve their communities

Retired state troopers suiting back up to serve their communities
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Law enforcement agencies across the country are feeling the pinch from staff shortages.

Now, some retirees are returning to the job. Kentucky State Police said two recent retirees will once again be serving their community.

The trooper “R” program allows retired members of state police who retired with at least 20 years of service and haven’t been gone longer than five years to return and serve their community, and this time around, retirement and other benefits won’t be taken out of their check.

“It’s really nice to have them come back like Capt. Surber said, the knowledge and experience they have is irreplaceable. That’s 20, 20+ years of service they’ve had. The things they’ve learned and everything that they’ve done throughout the 20 years of service, that carries over,” said Trooper Michael Coleman, a public affairs officer with KSP.

KSP Post 9 in Pikeville will be welcoming back two of their own. Trooper Ronald Peppi and Trooper Shaun Little both left with the rank of sergeant in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The pair live in Floyd County and are ready to patrol their streets once again.

“The recent tragedy in Floyd County and the flooding here in eastern Kentucky, seeing the people are out here and they need help. When you have a calling and you feel like you’re that person, it’s hard to sit by and not do anything,” Coleman said.

Post Surber said the two will serve as mentors for the newer troopers and fill some much-needed manpower back in the community.

“These were guys, when I first started state police they were here, you kind of looked up to them. Then just to be able to see them come back and be able to use that knowledge and go to them for guidance, it’s a good feeling to know that you’re in good hands when you’re talking to them,” Coleman said.

The two are contracted employees already out patrolling the streets. Trooper Little formerly served as the public affairs officer for Post 9.