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Head of Pennsylvania State Police Sees Looming Crisis in Staffing

(Pennsylvania state police commissioner Frank Noonan, in business suit, at a hearing in Harrisburg.  File photo by Tony Romeo)

(Pennsylvania state police commissioner Frank Noonan, in business suit, at a hearing in Harrisburg. File photo by Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Two key Pennsylvania lawmakers are expressing concern about a possible crisis in state police staffing that could develop over the next few years.

Pennsylvania State Police commissioner Frank Noonan said a few weeks ago he may have to consolidate barracks due to a lack of troopers and resources.

This morning, the state Senate Law and Justice Committee and House Judiciary Committee convened a joint hearing on state police staffing concerns.

Noonan displayed a photo of the bloody shirt of a trooper who was attacked by dogs and beaten with a flashlight while responding to an accident on the turnpike recently (in background of photo).

“And the reason I want to bring this to your attention is because it illustrates how important it is that the troopers on the road have backup,” Noonan testified.

And he said reduced staffing may affect state police response times.

Noonan says that the force is already about 10 percent below its full complement, and that hundreds more troopers are eligible for retirement in the coming year.

The chairmen of the two committees said after the hearing they are concerned and want to meet with the governor on the issue.

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