Expect more highway patrolmen this spring

Bring on the new troops.

Drive responsibly, because there are going to be more State Troopers on Mass. highways in the coming months.

On Friday, 208 trainees were scheduled to join the ranks and officially become roadway troopers.
According to State Police spokesman David Procopio, the graduating academy class is the largest in the history of the State Police — and it’s the first class of new troopers since the fall of 2006.

“The influx of young, aggressive troopers will result in more arrests and greater deterrence,” according to Procopio.

Officials said since 2006, the state has lost roughly 500 troopers due to “normal attrition” like retirements and medical discharges, making it difficult to maintain road safety.

“That decline translates into … fewer troopers to intersect and arrest impaired, distracted and aggressive drivers, and fewer marked cruisers on the road to act as a deterrent to motorists inclined to drive in those ways,” said Procopio.

It also means less drunk-driving arrests. According to police reports, that number has dipped “in rough correlation to the decline in  staffing levels.”

According to Procopio, the uptick in troopers doesn’t solve the patrol staffing problems, but it’s a good sign.

“[It] is a big first step to rebuilding our ranks,” he said.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear


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