GSP gets news posts, troopers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

GSP gets news posts, troopers

July 20, 2005

Tift County- The Georgia State Patrol Honor Guard meticulously unfurls and raises a new flag for Tifton's Post 13, one of four dedicated in the last seven months.

The $1.7 million dollar facility on Highway 41 replaces the post's cramped 3,000 square foot building built nearly 45 years ago.

"Everybody's got their own office, and each trooper's have got their own work station. It's just an honor to be in something so nice, and it makes it a little easier to come to work every day," says Post 13 commander Rusty Harrelson.

Not only will the new building make work a lot easier, but so will new staff members. 8"We're lucky enough to be getting two transfers to the post this month and it's going to help out our numbers to better serve our three counties," Harrelson says.

But, Tifton won't be the only site to receive new troopers.

"We graduated a trooper school last Friday, 28 new troopers. We have another school starting next month which will have 50 in it, and in January we start a third school," says Colonel Bill Hitchens, commander of the GSP.

Colonel Bill Hitchens, commander of the Georgia State Patrol says the graduating class is the first in nearly a year and a half. He says several years of budget cuts had put a strain on his department.

"It's not just us. It's throughout state government. Everybody is aware of the economic downturn and that's effected everybody in the state," Hitchens says.

Hitchens says new posts, troopers, and a forthcoming new computer system are proof the GSP is on the rebound.

"We feel like we're seeing some positive action. We're a little bit short-handed and we're trying to build back up so that we can do the job that we're required to do."

The 28 graduates will be assigned according to post personnel needs. Two of the new graduates will be stationed at the Valdosta post and will begin work on the 25th.

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