Mar. 04, 2024

Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Colonel Christopher Paris, Deputy Commissioner of Operations Lieutenant Colonel Geroge Bivens, Deputy Commissioner of Staff Lieutenant Colonel Joanne Reed, and Special Assistant to the Commissioner Brooke Mead testified today before the House Appropriations Committee. House Republicans focused their questions on the financial needs of PSP and ensuring those needs are met through the Governor’s budget proposal. Republicans asked about background checks for gun purchases, trooper recruitment, legalization of marijuana, the statewide emergency services radio, the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT), and crime labs.

Key Takeaways

· The Pennsylvania State Police are the front lines of protecting our communities. House Republicans have always ensured the PSP has the resources it needs to complete its mission.

· House Republicans inquired about how Trooper recruitment is fairing after removing the college degree requirement and authorizing additional cadet classes.

· Once again, there were no details provided on the Governor’s proposal for adult-use cannabis. As Pennsylvania's primary law enforcement agency, the PSP should be integral to the Governor's proposal. This did not appear to be the case based on today’s testimony.

· House Republicans remained concerned about the issues with the PSP crime labs. It was recently reported that an employee of the Office of Administration erroneously deleted a batch of PSP records. It has also been documented that the state labs need significant upgrades. Both issues were raised with the PSP for providing an update.

Notable Q&A

Rep. Jim Struzzi asks the PSP about the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) to verify legal firearm purchases. 

Rep. Thomas Kutz asks the PSP about their recruitment efforts.

Rep. John Lawrence asks for an update on the state laboratories renovations. 

Full Hearing

Watch the full hearing here.

Rep. Seth Grove, Republican Chairman of the PA House Appropriations Committee
196th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives