BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - While Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposed budget call for several agencies to cut back on staffing, there are two state law enforcement agencies that will be able to add to their ranks and one will get a pay raise.
The budget calls for academies for Wildlife and Fisheries and Louisiana State Police so they can train future officers.
The proposed budget for the next fiscal year contains $24 million for state police pay raises. The Superintendent of State Police had asked the legislature to approve a 30% increase for troopers but instead got them to agree to a 20% increase.
After the 20% increase, staring pay for troopers changed from $35,609 to $42,731. The pay increases to $46,857 after one year of service.
"We spend a tremendous amount of money training each trooper and we don't want to lose them," Lieutenant J.B. Slaton said.
"We want to have that retention, we want troopers to come get hired, get trained and we want them to stay with our agency."
Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley, who often competes with state police and other agencies for the same talent, welcomes the raises.
"I'm all for any increase," Wiley said. "If it brings in more troopers it can only help the situation out here."
Louisiana State Troopers have to option to eventually do other types of police work.
"We're a state police agency. We are not a highway patrol," Slaton said. "We don't just patrol the highways. That's one facet of our department."