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OSP Albany Troopers Back on Area Roads Around-the-Clock Starting Sunday
06/12/2009
Lieutenant Mark Cotter
Oregon State Police - Albany
Office: (541) 967-2112

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After six years with no Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers working around-the-clock patrols in the Linn and Benton county areas, the OSP Albany Area Command office will have troopers back onto these highways Sunday resuming around-the-clock coverage.
 
"During the last six years there were several challenges following the 2003 layoffs at many OSP offices around the state," said OSP Superintendent Timothy McLain. "We greatly appreciate how many of the area partner law enforcement agencies tried to help fill in the gap caused by our lack of availability to respond. The recent staffing level increases are now putting OSP troopers back onto our roads to help the public and fellow officers when we are called."
 
With the support of Governor Ted Kulongoski and legislative leadership during the 2007 legislative session, OSP has been working hard to hire and train newly authorized troopers to resume 24-hour coverage at key locations around the state. The OSP Central Point Area Command office was the first to return to around-the-clock coverage last December. The second office was at the OSP Portland Area Command which is now on 24 hour coverage four days a week and getting close to extending that to every day of the week. Other OSP offices are close to resuming 24/7 coverage in the coming months.
 
"This is another important step in reversing the declining state police presence on our roads," Governor Kulongoski said. "It took years to reverse this trend but Oregon remains on the path to have 24/7 OSP coverage across the state."
 
Starting June 14, 2009, the OSP Albany Area Command office will have patrol troopers working around-the-clock and available to respond to calls on approximately 300 miles of state and interstate highways in Linn and Benton counties. According to Lieutenant Mark Cotter, two years ago the OSP Albany office patrol trooper staffing had dipped to 8 troopers. Current staffing levels have nearly doubled since the spring of 2007 with two patrol sergeants and 15 troopers and recruit troopers now on board.
 
The added troopers, seven of which were hired since March 2008, will help the office address known high crash problem areas on a 13-mile stretch of Interstate 5 (between Highway 34 and the Santiam River) and Highway 34 (west of Interstate 5 to Corvallis).
 
"Just during the first five months of 2009 we have arrested more DUII drivers than in all of 2007. The increased enforcement presence, working in partnership with our local agencies and ODOT, will help us focus on these problem areas while also having troopers being a visible deterrent around-the-clock ready to stop those people who may endanger others on our highways and in our communities," said Cotter.
 
Department staffing increases helped OSP troopers increase statewide patrol-related contacts last year. In 2008, over 237,000 traffic contacts were reported, a ten percent increase from 2007. OSP DUII arrests statewide also jumped from 4,211 (2007) to 4,478 (2008).