State Police worry about staff shortages, funding

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Some state officials say staff shortages and an upcoming budget shortfall could jeopardize the Vermont State Police force.

The Department of Public Safety has discovered that the budget proposed by the governor for the upcoming fiscal year has at least 2 and a half million-dollars less than what it will likely need.

The state police have 27 vacancies and currently no new officers are being trained at the Vermont Police Academy.

At the same time, demands on the force are increasing.  Troopers are called to work with local police on tasks ranging from the search for a missing Middlebury College student to combating drug violence in Rutland, and drug raids in Barre in 2006.

Governor Jim Douglas says if the state police need more support he says the administration will work with the Legislature.

But Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin says Douglas should instead add money for police to his proposed budget.

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