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OSP Struggles in Numbers

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A lot of changes have happened in the past couple of decades for the Oregon State Patrol, and Lieutenant Gregg Hastings says he's seen it all. Mainly, a huge decrease in the number of troopers on the road.

The areas worst hit appear to be Pendleton and Hermiston.

 Hastings tells us Pendleton only has about 10 road units, but Hermiston, a mere handful. Heppner and Milton Freewater have none.

 In fact, they have such low numbers at times, that some police calls have to go unanswered as their trooper numbers have been cut by half since the late 70's.

 "When I came on in 1978, we had around 665 patrol troopers, now we're down to right around 370," Hastings says.

Hastings says they're doing all they can to keep the roads safe and at times some officers ask for help from other agencies if a call is serious. He adds they are working hard with the legislature to minimize budget cuts to law enforcement.