April 18, 2011
PAYMENT FOR RESIDENT STATE TROOPER SERVICES
By: Veronica Rose, Chief Analyst
You asked why towns are being charged different rates for resident trooper services. You especially want to know why Windham does not pay for resident trooper services while Stafford pays.
Towns are not being charged different rates for resident trooper services. The rate is fixed by law and is the same for all towns.
The State Police, through 12 troop locations, is responsible for providing law enforcement services in towns that do not have an organized police department. Each troop is responsible for several towns. Any town that wants troopers assigned to work exclusively for the town must execute a contract with the State Police for resident troopers and pay 70% of the troopers' “compensation, maintenance and other expenses.” Otherwise, the State Police provides law enforcement services at no cost to the towns.
Windham is among 25 towns under State Police jurisdiction that have elected not to have resident troopers and thus Windham does not pay for resident trooper services. But, because of major public safety issues at the Windham Heights housing project, the State Police, on its own initiative, has assigned three state police officers to the project at no cost to the town.
Stafford is among 56 towns that have elected to have resident troopers. The town currently has five resident troopers. In FY 11, it will pay an estimated $568,253 for their services, according to State Police figures (i.e., $454,097 + $114,156 for overtime expenses and fringe and workers' compensation benefits).
STATE POLICE SERVICES
The State Police, through 12 troop locations, is responsible for providing law enforcement coverage, including patrol services, in 81 towns that do not have an organized police department. Each troop is responsible for several towns. Troop K, for example, provides services in Windham and 13 other towns. Normally, officers are not assigned to work exclusively with specific towns. Thus, some towns have elected for law enforcement coverage in the form of state police officers who are stationed in the towns and work exclusively with the towns (i.e., resident troopers). These towns must execute a contract with the State Police for such troopers and contribute towards the cost of their services. Otherwise, the services are provided at no cost to the towns.
Windham is among 25 towns that have elected not to have resident troopers. But, the State Police, on its own initiative, has assigned three state police officers to the Windham Heights housing project because of public safety issues associated with the project. These services are provided at no cost to the town.
Stafford has opted to have resident troopers and currently has five officers assigned to the town under contract.
Resident State Troopers
By law, the public safety commissioner may appoint state police officers to serve as resident state troopers in towns that do not have an organized police force. Resident troopers have the same powers as regular state police officers and are entitled to the same rights and subject to the same rules and regulations as the Division of State Police (CGS § 29-5). A town that wants resident troopers must enter into a contract with the State Police. The contract can be for up to two years and can be terminated by either party. Once assigned to a town the resident trooper works exclusively with the town.
By law, each town pays 70% of the cost of the resident trooper's “compensation, maintenance and other expenses” (CGS § 29-5). This includes 70% of the wages and fringe benefits associated with overtime, according to a 2009 attorney general's opinion (Attorney General Op. 2009-005, June 30, 2009). The actual dollar figure may vary depending on the assigned trooper's pay grade.
Currently 56 towns have resident state troopers. Just over half of them (30) have only one resident trooper. One-quarter of them have two officers. Twelve have three or more officers, with Mansfield (8) having the most, followed by New Fairfield with seven officers.