SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – The price of a gallon of gas could be too high to keep Illinois state troopers on the road as much as they are now.
Illinois State Police Interim Director Patrick Keen told a House appropriations committee this week that stationary patrols might be a response to gas prices of $4 a gallon.
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Keen said next year’s proposed budget is based off of gas prices at $3.35, but gas prices are already over $3.50 a gallon, so police might have to cut back on gas usage, including through stationary patrols.
Keen also said police might have to start doubling up when traveling.
A union official, Troopers Lodge 41 secretary Joe Moon, said he is worried about police manpower.
Not only will many troopers be retiring in the coming years, but the governor has proposed taking a break from hiring new troopers.
Moon said one of the problems with that is that, from the time a trooper enters the academy, he or she is not ready to work for 40 to 52 weeks.
The governor’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year calls for $402 million for the Illinois State Police, down from the $404 million appropriated for state police this fiscal year.