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Budget cuts lead to Highway Patrol shortages

Budget cuts by the Republican legislature left the Kansas Bureau of Investigation short 22 investigators at one point. The staff shortage was so severe, that the agency was forced to turn down over 20% of the requests for help it received. Those same cuts also depleted the ranks of the Kansas Highway Patrol, leaving 35 counties without any troopers at all and another 30 counties getting only part-time coverage from a single trooper. Having so few troopers reduced response times and forced officers to work in dangerous situations without proper backup in rural areas and even cities as large as Manhattan and Salina.

 

Budget cuts have let to prison guard shortages

Budget cuts by the Republican legislature have prevented the Kansas Department of Corrections from paying fair wages, creating system-wide shortage of more than 300 guards as of August, 2017. To cover the gap, the state forced staff to work extra hours, leaving exhausted guards in charge of dangerously overcrowded prisoners including mentally ill inmates transferred in from state hospitals which are also failing because of Republican policies. The predictable outcome of this volatile mix is a series of violent disturbances by prisoners, including incidents in May, 2 separate uprisings in June, July, and September of 2017, incidents which the Republican state leadership initially tried to cover up by failing to report them.