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Leader of police union says state needs more troopers

WBFO News file photo

The head of the union representing New York State Troopers said he is pleased there are 133 new State Troopers, but he says it still is not enough.

Albany's continuing fiscal problems have affected the State Police since retiring Troopers weren't being replaced. The graduating class on Tuesday was the first since 2009.

State Police PBA President Thomas Mungeer said the force is still probably 300 Troopers below what it should be.  He said crime and all of the other events in the life of a Trooper aren't dropping in number.

The union president said  knows that well because he's on road patrol in the Catskills.

Mungeer said the force may continue to shrink.

"With an average of 130-140-retirements each year, this class is thankfully there, but the biggest thing is that we can't stop here.  We're going to have to continue to hire more bodies.  They do have another class starting at the end of next month, an additional 90 Troopers are going into the academy," said Mungeer. 

Mungeer said Troopers know their backup may be 40-minutes away because the force is spread so thinly.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.