The Minnesota State Patrol won’t be holding its annual training academy for new troopers for lack of funding, and that could mean fewer troopers will be on the roads next year.
Legislators failed to pass Gov. Tim Walz’s supplemental budget, which included funding for the State Patrol. Without the money, the State Patrol has called off its 62nd training academy scheduled to begin Jan. 25.
“Due to budgetary constraints, the State Patrol Trooper Training Academy has been canceled for next year,” according to a statement from the Department of Public Safety. “It is our hope that the Legislature will provide this funding to ensure we have the necessary troopers on Minnesota roads.”
About 600 troopers patrol state highways and respond to emergencies. About 70 troopers are expected to retire or leave the patrol over the next two years, according to public safety officials.
To replace them, the patrol conducts a 15- to 17-week training academy at Camp Ripley near Little Falls each year for new recruits. Training covers topics from conducting traffic stops and rescuing people from submerged vehicles to weapons training. About 40 recruits were set to go through training in 2021, officials said.
The patrol spends $4.5 million to $5.5 million on leases, equipment and staff for each year’s academy.