More state troopers are coming soon to New Hampshire highways.
Early next year, drivers on Interstate 93 should notice an increased presence, as will those on highways in remote parts of the state.
State police are actively recruiting for the 10 new positions Gov. Maggie Hassan and the Legislature authorized under the recently passed budget. The state budgeted $723,384 for salary and benefits for the new troopers.
The new budget provides for 343 troopers. There were 333 slots before, with 12 current vacancies due to retirements or other departures. The agency also must manage with troopers on leave for military service.
It also freed up five troopers for patrol. who are now assigned responsibilities within the Department of Motor Vehicles. Those duties will be handled by civilian employees.
Officials expected nearly 300 people to participate Saturday in the state police exam in Concord. Another exam is scheduled in December.
“We’ve been working aggressively in our recruiting and training unit,” Col. Robert Quinn, chief of the state police, said last week. “We’re working as fast as we can to ensure we have a good pool of candidates.”
The budget decision by the governor and Legislature pleased Quinn and officials throughout the agency.
“We are very excited and grateful we will be able to increase the ranks of our agency,” he said. “These 10 troopers we will put to good use.”
Quinn said he sees the additional troopers improving safety, both for the general public and troopers out on the road.
“This is extremely important to public safety,” he said. “New Hampshire State Police have been dealing with an increase in calls and operating at reduced staffing levels.”
The troopers’ union publicly advocated for more positions during the legislative session.
“Having these additional troopers on the road is critical to meeting public safety standards for the public,” said Seth Cooper, president of the New Hampshire Troopers Association.