Gov. Kate Brown’s anticipated budget cuts to state agencies could result in Oregon State Police doing away with jobs for nearly 200 employees.
Oregon State Police says with the May revenue forecast set to be down by $3 billion and with the governor’s expectation to cut $27 million within one year, the agency could be forced to terminate 199 positions. These cuts could potentially take place in July
Of those eliminated positions, Oregon State Police said 102 would be positions in patrol, fish and wildlife, criminal, and professional staff.
The agency would need to suspend operations in nine patrol offices and remove the patrol division-funded positions in McMinnville, Prineville, St. Helens, Albany, Hermiston, Grants Pass, Government Camp, La Pine, and Tillamook.
The proposition involves eliminating six total fish and wildlife positions from Albany, Tillamook, McMinnville, and La Pine.
Oregon State Police is also considering laying off 39 positions in headquarters support, IT, criminal justice information services, human resources, office of professional standards, and dispatch.
The budget cut would also impact 39 positions in the forensic laboratories and pathology operations. It would suspend pathology operations in Central Point and Springfield.
It would also reduce 18 positions in fleet, the Oregon State Athletic Commission, procurement, and training.
Oregon State Police says it is waiting for the May 20 revenue forecast to give them idea of “what type of scenarios we are truly looking at.”
Officials said the reductions should not occur immediately. The agency will wait for the governor to make final decisions on spending reductions and will wait to see how Oregon’s “rainy day” funds are used.
The agency said Oregon cannot use any coronavirus relief payments to backfill funding for the state government. There is a possibility these rules will change if another relief package is issued.
Oregon State Police Cpt. Tim Fox says they already have one of the worst staffing ratios in the nation.
Fox said troopers are represented by a union and talks are ongoing about pay cuts and furloughs.
He said lately, state troopers have been seeing more drivers speeding and they may not be able to enforce limits or cite people if the cuts go through.
Oregon State Police has more information on the potential cuts posted on the agency’s blog.