Public safety facing $7-10 million budget cuts
BATON ROUGE - The State Police superintendent says public safety will face $7-10 million in budget cuts this year.
Col. Mike Edmonson and lawmakers went over the cuts Tuesday at the State Capitol. With budget cuts on the horizon, Edmonson will shift gears into penny-pinching mode to find ways to save money while keeping the state safe.
"Maybe we'll have to keep our cars a little bit longer. We're going to be able to buy some cars, but we're just not going to be able to buy every single vehicle that we need," he said. "We're going to have to look at when we go into different areas how much time and overtime, those types of things. We have to look at travel. If it's not dealing with investigations, certifications or some type of training then we're just not going to be able to do it."
State Police will look to study data to place troopers in certain places to prevent crime and crashes. Edmonson says preventing incidents will save the state money. He says he will fight for what's needed to protect the public.
"When we work through this budget I think when those areas that I see as critical, then I'm just going to push back and I'm going to be able to tell them this is why I'm pushing back. That's why it's so important," he said. "I believe that when July 1 comes around that we'll have the dollars that we need to continue to be effective in public safety."
The debate on the budget will continue the entire legislative session with a deal usually reached by the end of session.