Better salary, body cameras among proposed investments for KSP, Beshear says

Published 1:24 pm Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday unveiled part of his upcoming budget plan, which he said makes historic investments in law enforcement so Kentucky can be a leader in improving public safety.

Speaking at the Kentucky State Police Academy, he said the KSP ranks 74th among law enforcement agencies in the state for starting pay and, compared with state police agencies in seven neighboring states, ranks last in pay.

He said his plan would change starting pay for sworn officers from about $40,000 a year to $55,000. Current sworn troopers and officers would also receive the increase.

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“It is not right that, when compared to our seven neighboring states, KSP ranks last in cadet pay, newly commissioned trooper pay and tenured pay,” Beshear stated. “Kentuckians, as well as other local law enforcement agencies, rely on KSP to keep our Commonwealth safe, and our troopers have more than earned comparable pay to their brothers and sisters in law enforcement across the state and nation.”

The KSP currently has 736 full-time sworn troopers and officers, which is 273 less than what it was in 2006.
KSP telecommunicators would also receive a pay raise in the Governor’s proposal. He noted that in the past five years, they have averaged a nearly 23% turnover rate. His proposal would increase KSP telecommunicators’ starting pay from $24,000 annually to $32,000. Current telecommunicators would also receive the increase.

In addition, Beshear announced $12.2 million is being included in his budget for KSP to purchase an integrated video recording system, which would be the first time in state history for funding to be allocated for this much-needed expense.

“Public safety requires transparency and accountability of our law enforcement, and one way that can be achieved is by being outfitted with recording devices,” he said. “I believe that recording devices provide protection to law enforcement officers by documenting exactly what happens during a situation.”

One other provision would help all local law enforcement officers and deputy sheriffs in Kentucky. Beshear is including an increase of $600 in his budget to be issued to all law enforcement officers upon completion of their state mandated 40 hours of in-service training; therefore, providing officers $4,600 annually through the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund.

Kentucky lawmakers will craft a two-year state budget, when they convene for the 2022 session in January.