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Bill would put more state troopers on Oregon’s highways

An Oregon State Police car (Courtesy/Wikimedia Commons).

Parts of Oregon with sparse police presence could see more state troopers on the highway under a bill advancing through the Legislature.

If passed, Senate Bill 1545 would put hundreds more state troopers on the state’s highways over the next decade. During a committee hearing on the proposal last week, State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton told lawmakers that Oregon’s current trooper staffing level is at the “bottom of the barrel” compared to other states.

He said that Oregon has 458 troopers assigned to its patrol division, about the same number it had in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to cover a state that’s grown to a population of over 4 million. He presented the committee with a map showing vast expanses of Oregon, primarily outside of the Interstate 5 . . .