South Dakota Highway Patrol struggles with trooper shortages

South Dakota State Patrol Car in front of Rushmore
South Dakota State Patrol Car in front of Rushmore(South Dakota Highway Patrol)
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 11:40 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Highway Patrol is struggling with a shortage of officers after over two dozen left the agency this year.

Secretary of Public Safety Craig Price told the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee that the departures leave the highway patrol’s force short 22 troopers. Even with a recent pay raise approved by Gov. Kristi Noem, the highway patrol’s starting pay has lagged behind other law enforcement agencies in the state’s largest cities and counties.

The shortage comes despite the Republican governor’s attempts to recruit officers from across the country with promises that the state supports law enforcement officers.