New York State Facing ‘Severe’ Shortage Of New Trooper Recruits

They’ll have to be super troopers at this rate.

The Division of New York State Police is losing more officers than it can keep as its ranks retire and fewer new troopers are brought on, The Post has learned.

More than a thousand troopers have retired from the state’s police force since 2015, but only about 750 have been hired to make up for the attrition, said New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association President Tom Mungeer.

“We’re right at the precipice, staring into the abyss of a severe manpower shortage,” said the 25-year veteran of the force, who has headed the union for the past nine years. “I think it’s a public-safety concern for the entire state.”

The agency employs about 5,000 troopers in 11 troops across 62 counties. In certain areas, such as the western region and the Adirondacks, the State Police is one of the only law-enforcement agencies — if not the only one, Mungeer said.

“There are times when . . . you have troopers covering twice or three times the area they would normally do,” he said. “It turns into somebody’s nearest backup might be 30 miles away or more.”

In 2017 and 2018, 501 troopers retired, but only 365 were hired.

While 414 troopers were brought on in 2016, at least 200 of them formed a new Troop NYC detail created by Gov. Cuomo, in part for counterterrorism efforts, officials said.

The state is slated to hire 250 more troopers in January, but Mungeer stressed the need for another 250 hires in order to “get ahead of the curve.”

“This governor has added manpower, and he definitely appreciates what the State Police can do,” he said.

“If we hire 500 troopers next year, I think we should be all right. If we don’t, I think we’re headed to a place that’s gonna take us years to dig out.”

Cuomo has also tasked State Police in the fight against the opioid epidemic and MS-13.

A State Police spokesman said the Cuomo administration has added 1,900 troopers since taking office and was sensitive to attrition needs.

From The New York Post