Money is so tight at the Indiana State Police that the superintendent is having his headquarters staff patrol state highways and interstates, says the Indianapolis Star. Indiana’s top law enforcement agency is down 200 troopers from the authorized strength of 1,334. By the end of this year, vacancies could climb to 300. Even if the state can afford to have a recruiting class this fall, the number of trainees will be cut in half, to about 30. Even if the department can train new officers, it can’t afford to give them weapons, uniforms, or police cars, says Superintendent Paul Whitesell.
The overall number of deaths in vehicle crashes increased to 940 last year, up from 787 the year before. Gov. Mitch Daniels has directed all agencies to cut 7 percent of their budgets to help the state’s bottom line. “We’re asking the governor to reconsider,” Whitesell said. “We can no longer shuffle things around or move people around. We’re at crisis level.”