POSTED: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 6:09pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 9:04pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — You may start seeing more State Troopers on the roads soon. This is in thanks to state lawmakers who budgeted funding for a new class of cadets.
It has been five years since Baton Rouge has seen a new State Trooper class. State troopers said their hope is that 50 new troopers will be added within the next year.
Zach Calhoun drives everyday. Calhoun said over the past couple of years, he has seen less State Troopers on the roads. However, now, he is ready for more protection.
"I'd like to see them more frequently...knowing that they do have those law enforcement agents that are there to protect you," Calhoun said. "It's nice to know their presence is out there to discourage things, and I think that makes everyone feel a little bit safer."
J.B.Slaton, Louisiana State Trooper, said keeping Louisiana drivers safe is the State Troopers' number one priority. So, the addition of new troopers will not just be good for the State Police, but for you too.
"It's been a battle that we've been trying to win for the past five years. Our last academy that we hired was in September of 2008," Slaton said. "Our numbers at that time were fairly good and fairly high, but in that five-year span, we've dropped considerably in regards to number of troopers on the road."
Now, the Baton Rouge community will see more State Troopers which means more safety on the roadways.
"If we can hire 50 more troopers, that's even better. It's all about the community. It's all about the public that we serve," Slaton said. "If we can get our number up, the public will be better off."
"I think having more police presence, especially on the roads will discourage a lot of speeding and aggressive driving," Calhoun said.
"The community doesn't care about the shape of our badge or the color of our badge. They just want to know that the police are coming when we're needed," Slaton said.
Slaton said they want to start training new troopers by the end of this year, so they can start patrolling the roadways as soon as possible.