The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is requesting an additional $23 million in funding from the state’s General Fund for the 2016 fiscal year.
ALEA, founded on Jan. 1 last year, is the combination of a variety of previously unique law enforcement agencies, including state troopers, marine police, and homeland security.
ALEA has been allocated $44 million from the state’s beleaguered general fund, a decrease of about $20 million from what the agencies were accustomed to receiving before being combined under the ALEA headline.
ALEA Secretary Spencer Collier attributed the request for additional money to a variety of reasons, including the need to hire more troopers.
According to Collier, ALEA has 420 troopers.
A recent study found Alabama should have about 1,100 troopers on its roadways, and compared to other states, Collier called Alabama’s numbers “abysmal” and “embarrassing.”
Because Alabama is facing another year with an estimated $200 million shortfall in the General Fund, legislators grilled Collier on how the agency could cut costs.
Suggestions included the increased use of local sheriff’s to handle local accidents and the extension of driver’s licenses from four- to five-year coverage.
In its first year as a unified law enforcement agency, ALEA issued more than 380,000 tickets, handled more than 30,000 vehicular accidents, ran 27 surveillance operations and handled 146 manhunts.