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Study: Ind. trooper pay lower than other states

Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 16, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- A state agency responsible for your safety is worried about recruiting and retaining the best. 

Indiana State Police is losing a growing number of troopers. Part of it has to do with their salaries.

The state requested a study on salaries. The results show Indiana State Police Troopers make less than many of their counterparts in surrounding states, even some local law enforcement agencies. 

Every day brings dangers to the job of an Indiana State Police Trooper. That's why Captain Dave Bursten says it is a calling. 

"We don't know who we're stopping when we're stopping them. Most people are ordinary, law-abiding people. But, if you can show me what a criminal looks like and and what an honest person looks like we can get you a good job explaining that to us," he said. 

He says the agency is competing for a limited pool of qualified candidates. And a new study shows Indiana State Police could be at a disadvantage. The independent study shows that Indiana troopers make less than their counterparts in three surrounding states. 

A starting trooper makes close to $54,000 in base pay in Michigan. In Indiana, the starting number is a little shy of $41,000. 

"For us, that's a problem. We're Indiana's finest. We always felt we should be able to recruit the best, retain the best, and they should be able to afford to make a career as an Indiana State Police officer," Steve Buschmann with the Indiana State Police Alliance said. 

The union representing the men and women in blue says 28 troopers have left the force in the last 15 months. Fourteen have taken jobs with other law enforcement agencies, including the Fishers Police Department. Another twelve out on the street right now are in the hiring process elsewhere. 

Buschmann plans to request a meeting with Gov. Pence's office. 

"As governor, I want to ensure that the compensation we provide our law enforcement community reflects the gratitude of the people of Indiana," Pence said in a statement.

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