US

Florida Highway Patrol dealing with trooper shortage

The number of speeding tickets issued by the Florida Highway Patrol has dropped for three straight years as the agency deals with a shortage of troopers.

Col. Gene Spaulding tells the Miami Herald the agency has lost 993 troopers — or about half of its workforce — to retirement or resignation since 2010.

Spaulding says the agency does what it can to provide public safety, patrolling areas that include Interstates 4, 75 and 95 in the nation's third most populated state that also doubles as a tourist destination.

The Herald cites low pay as a possible reason for high turnover. A starting trooper in Florida makes about $34,000, the same wage that's been in effect since 2005. In Mississippi, starting pay for a trooper is $38,000 and $47,000 in Louisiana.