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Connecticut state troopers to get new contract amid staffing shortages

State trooper
Einar J�rgen Haraldseid
State trooper

A new Connecticut police contract has been approved by the General Assembly’s budget-writing committee. It’s a four-year, rank-and-file agreement.

The contract increases pay for first year state troopers by $10,000, to $71,000. It’s a $19 million wage increase for the force.

Union President Master Sgt. Todd Fedigan said there are few veteran members left in the department — and the issue is country-wide.

"We're just not seeing the numbers applying for the job anymore," Fedigan said.

There are currently less than 850 sworn state troopers. That’s 300 less than full staff.

More than 400 troopers have retired or resigned in the last four years. Union leaders say the new contract, which includes wellness benefit stipends, will hopefully attract new applicants.

"If you have a healthy officer, of sound mind, not worried about family issues, not worried about financial issues and there's wellness and he's physically fit, you get a much-better trooper, you get a much better police officer," said James Rovella, state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection commissioner. "We're hoping it takes a groundswell and that the troopers really realize the value of this money."

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.