LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Governor Andy Beshear announced part of his upcoming budget plan Tuesday, highlighting a significant raise for Kentucky State Police (KSP) troopers and dispatchers.
KSP ranks last in starting pay, compared to the surrounding seven states. Of law enforcement agencies within the commonwealth, the department ranks 74th according to the Governor's office.
Starting salary for a state trooper in Kentucky is currently $40,000.
The Governors' budget would raise that to $55,000. It would also raise the starting dispatch salary from $24,000 to $32,000. Raises would be applied to new and existing employees.
“My administration’s top priority is to protect our Kentucky families and communities,” Gov. Beshear said. “And today I am announcing that my next recommended budget will make historic investments in law enforcement, so that the commonwealth can become a true leader in improving public safety.”
KSP Detective Courtney Milam described the current shortage of officers.
“When my dad retired in 2008, he worked alongside nearly 900 troopers, whereas today, I serve with roughly 730 troopers," Milam said. "We are losing good troopers to other agencies that are able to pay higher salaries.”
But the budget decision won't come from Beshear alone.
"It's important to remember the budget is a process," Republican State Representative James Tipton told WHAS11 News.
Once the Governor releases his full recommendation, the budget will still need to get through the legislature and then back to the Governor before it is implemented.
To learn more about the budget process in Kentucky, click here.