The Pennsylvania State Police says it costs $600 million a year to provide full-time coverage to 2.5 million residents in nearly 1,300 municipalities that don’t pay for a local police force.
State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker gave the figure at Thursday’s Senate Appropriations Committee hearing. The state police hadn’t divulged a cost figure in response to repeated requests by The Associated Press.
Senators’ questions about the cost came after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf proposed charging those municipalities an annual $25-per-person fee for the coverage. The proposed fee would raise $63 million, but it’s unclear whether the Republican-controlled Legislature would approve it.
That $600 million is roughly half of the state police’s $1.2 billion budget, most of which is funded by money constitutionally restricted to highway construction, repair and safety.