Maine State Troopers: Going Hungry While Protecting the Public

May 13th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Earlier this year, Jon Brown, a trooper from Piscataquis County, told members of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee that he sometimes takes road kill home to feed his family.

“Over the past couple of years my family have been recipients of food stamps,” Trooper Brown said. “We receive medical care which is paid for by MaineCare. I am not proud of this, not at all.”

Brown is married, a veteran with six children. His pay is about $37,000 a year, before taxes. His pay has been frozen since he joined the force in 2008. There will be modest increases in the new budget year that starts July 1, but Brown could make more as a municipal police officer, or by working for a federal law enforcement agency, such as the border patrol.

“People are now weighing, ‘What’s the best decision for my family?'” says Aaron Turcotte, president of the Maine State Troopers Association, the union that represents troopers. He says applicants are asking questions, not just about pay and benefits, but other factors as well.

“Do I want to work a job that requires me to work nights, weekends, holidays, miss children’s birthdays, ballgames?” Turcotte says. “So there does come a point where, I think, younger people now are looking at, ‘How do I spend more time with my family?'”

And that’s led to recruitment problems within the state police. Col. Robert Williams, chief of the force, says society is changing and there are fewer men and women willing to make

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