New contract could mean significant raises for depleted Connecticut State Police ranks

The raises are designed to address a severe staffing shortage.

John Craven

Dec 8, 2022, 5:21 PM

Updated 553 days ago

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Connecticut state troopers could make significantly more money under a tentative contract deal announced on Thursday. The raises are designed to address a severe staffing shortage.
"Our morale? It's about to be a lot better than it was yesterday,” said Andy Matthews, executive director of the Connecticut State Police Union.
Right now, Connecticut state troopers start at $61,257, plus overtime. Both sides said the new contract boosts starting pay.
Neither side will reveal exact numbers yet, but Matthews said it also includes a new “wellness benefit.” Gov. Ned Lamont said the contract is even more generous than other state workers got earlier this year. The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) inked a deal new including a 10% raise over four years, plus bonuses.
Lamont said it’s money well spent.
"Everybody thinks people around here are overpaid and it's the best job around,” he said. “We're having a hard time recruiting compared to the private sector, and that includes our state police."
In 2009, Connecticut had more than 1,283 state troopers. Today that number is down to 879. That’s partly due to a “retirement cliff” this summer, spurred by changes to pension benefits negotiated by former Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Still, state police are barely keeping up with retirements. The latest training class in October included just 33 new troopers – less than a third of what was funded.
"[Lamont] and the legislature have worked really hard to fund classes of 100, and they're lucky if they can get, you know, 40 to 50,” said Matthews.
Connecticut isn’t alone. Police agencies across the nation are struggling to hire new officers, often citing friction between the public and officers in the wake of high-profile police shootings like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
The staffing crunch is leading to lots of overtime. According to a recent audit, some state police employees racked up 162 hours of overtime – in just one pay period.
Matthews said it means a lot fewer troopers on critical crime task forces.
"We used to have 12, 15 in a unit. You know, whether it's the gun task force, auto theft, gangs,” he said. “Now you're down to one or two."
Rank-and-file state troopers will vote on the contract between next Tuesday and Dec. 20. If they say yes, state lawmakers must approve it, too.


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