More troopers sought for Wyoming highways

| Monday, January 09, 2006

A Wyoming legislative panel has filed a bill that would add 20 more troopers to patrol roads in the state.

The Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee filed legislation to add 20 officers to the Wyoming Highway Patrol. The state’s Transportation Department only asked lawmakers to approve 15 additional troopers.

Republican Reps. Bryan Pederson of Cheyenne and Dave Edwards of Douglas, however, said they increased the number by five to improve the likelihood the patrol would get the troopers it needs, The Associated Press reported.

Despite the likelihood of adding the additional troopers, Col. Sam Powell, the commander of the Wyoming Highway Patrol, told The AP at least one study has shown the patrol is 100 troopers short of optimal staffing levels.

The measure is similar to one that was rejected by House lawmakers a year ago. This year’s version – HB14 – is awaiting consideration for the legislative session that begins next month.

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