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The National Safety Commission supports bill to boost salaries for State Troopers in Florida

03/05/2008

The National Safety Commission today praised a proposal in the Florida Legislature that would fund an effort to boost salaries for troopers of the Florida Highway Patrol.

SB 920, sponsored by Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, would fund a recruitment and retention salary payment plan for officers in the Florida Highway Patrol by increasing license reinstatement fees by $10 for those whose licenses are suspended, and by $15 for drivers whose licenses are revoked. The new fees would be $45 and $75, respectively.

"We applaud Senator Fasano for sponsoring this important legislation that will help the Florida Highway Patrol raise salaries for the state troopers who protect our citizens," said Ken Underwood, President and CEO of the National Safety Commission. "Florida troopers are an elite group of law enforcement officers and are among the best in the nation. Yet, they continue to receive sub-standard wages. In a tight budget year, this is exactly the type of innovative approach Florida needs to adequately compensate these fine men and women and their families for their service and their sacrifice. Raising the necessary funding to accomplish this initiative by collecting fees specific to problem drivers, instead of relying on broad-based tax increases, is just good government."

Col. Christopher Knight, former director of the Florida Highway Patrol, also expressed
his strong support for the legislation.

"The dedicated troopers of the Florida Highway Patrol have long struggled with salaries that often are not competitive with those of sheriffs' and police departments, a fact that makes both recruiting and retention difficult," said Knight, who now serves as the National Safety Commission's Executive Director of Traffic Safety. "This is a great proposal that will increase trooper pay without burdening taxpayers, and I hope the Legislature will act quickly to pass this bill to fairly compensate our troopers who put their lives on the line every day to keep our families safe."

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