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OSP Springfield Troopers Back on the Road Providing Around-the-Clock Coverage
08/17/2009
Sergeant Ted Phillips
Oregon State Police - Springfield
(541) 726-2536 ext. 220

After eight years with no Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers working around-the-clock patrols in the Lane County area, the OSP Springfield Area Command office now has troopers back onto these highways resuming around-the-clock coverage.

 
"There have been several challenges to OSP and other law enforcement agencies following the 2003 OSP layoffs," said OSP Superintendent Timothy McLain. "Despite some of their own local staffing challenges, area law enforcement agencies tried to help fill in the gap caused by our lack of availability to respond. The recent staffing level increases continue to put more 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. Other OSP office locations in Portland, Albany and Salem have also returned to 24 hour coverage with others getting closer 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 August 13, 2009, the OSP Springfield Area Command office had patrol troopers working around-the-clock and available to respond to calls on approximately 380 miles of state and interstate highways in Lane County. The Springfield Area Command office also oversees OSP operations at work sites in Oakridge and Florence. Both the Oakridge and Florence work sites have increased staffing levels to 4 patrol troopers respectively.
 
According to Sergeant Ted Phillips, the OSP Springfield office patrol trooper staffing had dipped to 9 troopers. Current staffing levels now have the office at 2 patrol sergeants and 23 troopers and recruit troopers. The added troopers, ten of which were hired since March 2008, will help the office continue to focus on Interstate 5 and other known high crash problem areas which include sections of Beltline Road, McKenzie Highway, and Highway 58.

 
"The increased staffing has been a boost for this area while we work in partnership with our local agencies and ODOT. Extra troopers help us focus on our problem areas while also being a visible deterrent around-the-clock ready to stop those people who may endanger others on our highways and in our communities," said Phillips.

 
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).