Oregon Troopers Celebrate 75th Birthday
PENDLETON, Ore. - Oregon State Police are celebrating their 75th birthday during the month of August. Friday, state troopers gathered in Pendleton to commemorate the occasion.
Retired troopers caught up on old times. Local public officials came out to show their support. And the State Police Superintendent reminded troopers of the important nature of their position.
"We do have a lot to be proud of, in the terms of how this organization has strived to serve the people of Oregon," said Ronald Ruecker, Oregon State Police Superintendent.
Scott Hancock started as a trooper in 1959 and remembers how hard he had to work to get in good with the community.
"We were heavy into public relations at that time. You're best back up was whoever the closest neighbor was down the street or first guy going by in a car or whatever," said Hancock.
When Hancock retired in 1987 nearly 700 troopers worked Oregon's roads, but since then budget cuts have limited the number of troopers state offices can hire.
"None of them can field more than two troopers a shift, if that. In many patrol offices especially east of the mountains over here they're lucky to have one trooper on patrol," said Jeff Leighty, Oregon State Police Officers' Association President.
But regardless how many troopers are on shift, state police vow to maintain quality service.
"The service record of professionalism and courtesy, that's going to continue on in the future that will always be the mantra of the state police. We're here for the people," said Ruecker.
Ruecker said he wants the state police to be known for their pride, loyalty and dedication.