'Shamefully' short on guns, working cars and new hires. Kentucky State Police pushes lawmakers. – Lexington Herald Leader

The Kentucky State Police is struggling to keep pace with demands of the job due to a manpower shortage, an aging and high-mileage fleet, a lack of long guns and failing radio equipment.

Statewide, the agency has about 840 sworn officers, only about 500 of whom are road troopers. The agency is considered fully staffed at 1,070 sworn law enforcement officers, said Lt. Brad Arterburn, branch commander of recruitment based in Frankfort. More than 100 are eligible to retire.

KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders recently told lawmakers the agency has reached a critical point. Appearing before the Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and Judiciary on Oct. 26, Sanders expressed thanks for trooper pay raises last year, asked lawmakers not to reduce his budget this year and discussed the agency’s dire needs.

State police need 260 cars within 12 to 18 months, then about 180 new cars every year to retire the aging fleet. Currently, some cars have as many as 200,000 miles, Sanders said. New troopers from the last cadet class received cars with an average of 140,000 miles.

“We had (a trooper) a few months ago that was responding to a fellow trooper that had been stabbed, and on the way to that stabbing the trooper’s transmission went out,” Sanders said to lawmakers. “His car was approaching 200,000 miles and he was trying to get to that trooper to help save his life and he didn’t make it. He ended up getting out of his cruiser and running, on foot, toward the scene and fortunately he was picked up by another trooper who was en route.”

In an interview with the Daily News on Friday, Sanders further detailed the agency’s needs and the local impact at Post 3 in Bowling Green, where he said staffing is at such a critical

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