SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- They're charged with policing the state of West Virginia, but now State Police are coming out to say they need more manpower.
As of Tuesday, Lt. Reggie Patterson of the West Virginia State Police said the agency is short 33 troopers and could soon be down as many as 50 officers because of upcoming retirements. Those figures don’t include the 275 troopers Patterson said the agency feels they need to operate most efficiently.
About one-third of the state's detachments have four or less troopers, which Patterson said puts a real strain on those troopers.
One of the areas most in need of more manpower is the Crimes Against Children Unit, according to Patterson.
“Some of those cases last two to three months until you investigate,” Patterson said, “so that's very taxing on the individual. We recognize that there's a need for that and as we do the cases we realize there are more cases out there so those two things coupled together tell us we need to have more individuals on that particular unit.”
Another area lacking for the agency is minority troopers, according to Patterson who said they are aggressively recruiting to make West Virginia State Police more diverse.