Wednesday, August 21, 2019
News 12 at 5 p.m.
The Georgia State Patrol is looking to fill 100 positions. (Source: WRDW)
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Georgia State Patrol is looking to fill over 100 positions.
Troopers are traveling throughout the state. Today, they were in Richmond County trying to get some potential hires.
Money talks, but for Georgia State Patrol, a 26 percent pay raise is driving troopers out of the door and not in.
"We got an increase in pay, and a lot of troopers that were around locked in at that newer pay rate and retired at that rate," explains GSP trooper and recruiter Baron Pernell.
The increase put GSP in the top tier for state law enforcement pay.
Yet, GSP reports the shortage in troopers has caused an increase in crashes, distracted drivers, and speeding in the last 5 years.
Pernell says he's seen plenty of changes at Post 25 in Columbia County within the last five years.
"Five years ago, at the post here in Grovetown, 25, we had roughly I would say, about 14 to 15 troopers, could be higher, maybe 16," Pernell said. "We were overlapping one another on shifts. We had a significant amount of manpower on the road. We were very productive."
According to GDOT, in 2014 there were 1,170 fatalities on Georgia roads. By 2018, that number increased to 1,514. Pernell says many troopers are being forced to work longer hours and some drive from far distances, fighting for promotions.
"A lot of times you'll have to travel from your home, maybe an hour and a half or so, to your work area due to maybe a shortage in that area of troopers not being eligible to being promoted," Pernell said. "Again, if the numbers were increased, you'd probably have an increase in promotable troopers in the area. So, you won't have to have one trooper drive two hours away to another area to be a supervisor."
The shortage in troopers has GSP recruiters like Pernell calling on you.
"We're looking for good people, good men and women, to come join the elite to help out the great state of Georgia," Pernell said.
GSP isn't the only law enforcement agency looking to fill positions. Richmond, Columbia, and Aiken County sheriff's offices continually host job fairs trying to fill positions. Officials say part of the shortage is due to the stigma surrounding law enforcement.
If you are interested in joining the force contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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