JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) — Indiana State Police say troopers are leaving the agency for higher paying jobs in law enforcement.
Sgt. Philip Hensley, who’s been with ISP for more than a decade, is calling it a crisis.
“We are losing our current members, our current sworn officers, at an alarming rate,” he told WDRB News.
Hensley says it’s because of pay and that the issue was highlighted in a study released earlier this week and presented to the State Budget Committee.
Some of the data from the Mercer report shows how ISP troopers are making less than their counterparts at other agencies in the area.
For example, a trooper in Illinois starts out making $60,036 and can make up to $114,528. Indiana troopers start at $40,902 can make a maximum of $61,208.
In Indianapolis, a patrol officer starts with $64,052 and can make up to $70,096, according to the research.
“It takes 20 years for a state trooper to max out his pay and he’s still making 5,000 less than a three year member of Indy Metro PD,” Hensley explained, “That’s one of the agencies were losing to.”
Hensley says 28 members of ISP left before retirement last year and right now 12 people are interviewing for jobs with other agencies.
“We’re paying to train these people and its not cheap,” Hensley explained.
Officials say ISP got a 2-percent raise last summer but it was the first time their pay changed since 2008.
“We’ve taken so many cuts and are losing so many good people, we’re afraid that if the trend continues, our ability to provide that best service is going to slip. We can’t allow it. We won’t allow it,” Hensley told WDRB News.
He says the Indiana State Police Alliance will now start crunching numbers to get to the governor’s office.
In part of a statement, Governor Mike Pence says, “We will use this study as we begin the process of developing the next biennial budget. As governor, I want to ensure that the compensation we provide our law enforcement community reflects the gratitude of the people of Indiana.”