First Lady Lori Shapiro Visits Pennsylvania State Police Academy to Highlight Efforts to Recruit More Women, Sustainably Fund State Police
April 20, 2023
Hershey, PA – Today, First Lady Lori Shapiro met with cadets and staff from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) at the State Police Academy in Hershey to discuss the challenges PSP currently faces in recruiting female troopers and to highlight the Governor’s commonsense budget proposal, which invests in public safety and takes steps to recruit more police officers to fill critical staffing shortages.
Workforce shortages among critical frontline positions like police officers are a problem across the Commonwealth. To address these shortages, Governor Shapiro has proposed a refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 a year for three years for newly certified police officers, troopers, nurses, and teachers.
“Law enforcement agencies should reflect the communities they’re sworn to serve, and the Shapiro Administration is working to ensure that every Pennsylvanian has well-trained, well-resourced police officers in their neighborhood,” said First Lady Lori Shapiro. “The PSP was the nation’s first state police agency to fully integrate female troopers into its regular command structure, and we need to build on that legacy. By adequately funding our state police and diversifying recruitment efforts to attract more women, the State Police can help all Pennsylvanians be and feel safe.”
Currently, there are more than 4,000 state troopers in Pennsylvania but fewer than 10 percent of them are women. As part of a national effort, PSP hopes to increase that number to 30 percent by the year 2030. However, recruitment has gotten more difficult over the years as the number of PSP applicants are down from nearly 10,000 per class 30 years ago to just 1,000 applicants per class today.
“I would like to thank the First Lady for visiting with our staff and cadets today,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Christopher Paris. “We appreciate her support and continued partnership as we seek to grow the number of women in our ranks.”
To support the PSP’s recruitment efforts, the Governor’s budget proposes $16.4 million for four new Pennsylvania state trooper cadet classes in 2023-24. This initiative will support the recruitment and training of 384 new troopers to help fill staffing gaps and provide more coverage across the Commonwealth. It also funds the creation of a Public Safety and Protection Fund – reducing the PSP’s reliance on the Motor License Fund – and freeing up an estimated $1.5 billion for road and bridge projects while ensuring law enforcement have the resources they need to keep communities safe.
Additional photos from the First Lady’s visit are available on PACast.com.
Learn more about Governor Shapiro’s comprehensive approach to building safer communities here: http://shapirobudget.pa.gov.
Contact: Meaghan Abbott, firstname.lastname@example.org
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