Harrisburg WITF

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 18:52

State Police counting cadets – before they hatch?

Training a class of State Police troopers may seem like a straightforward way to fill the ranks, but there are a few big unknowns in the mix this year.  A lot is riding on the next few months for the agency, which has hundreds of vacancies to fill and not enough money with which to fill them.

115 cadets are set to head to the state police academy in Hershey next month, and according to State Police spokesman Sgt. Anthony Manetta, about 20 percent won’t make it.

“Some of it’s for academic reasons and some of it’s for physical reasons or ailments that they might have throughout the course of the training,” said Manetta about the future cadets. If they quit too far into the six-month program, the state can’t back-fill their spots.

“For a finite period of time as we lose cadets, we can replace [them],” said Manetta.  “But, for every day that goes by when we have to replace a cadet, they’ve lost a day’s training time and we can only catch them up so far.”

Not even the money for the cadet class is a done deal.  The $7.9 million needed to pay for the class was proposed by the governor and state senators.  The state’s spending plan isn’t due to be finalized until the end of June – after the cadets start their training – but the State Police are still banking on that appropriation.

“We still have to believe in what we’re told,” said Manetta.  “The further back we push the class, the longer it takes us, and the more short we become on troopers.”

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