Pleasant Monday with highs in the low 70s

Official: Oklahoma Highway Patrol losing ground due to budget cuts

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OKLAHOMA CITY –  A state official says the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is understaffed and struggling to accomplish its public safety mission due to declining revenue that has led to reductions in staff and restricted travel.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael C. Thompson says cost-cutting measures will help the state’s premier law enforcement agency meet onerous budget requirements.

But he says it will also impede proactive traffic regulation enforcement on nearly 112,000 miles of roads and highways.

The agency is seeking $6 million in supplemental funds to reverse some of the cuts imposed this year.

But lawmakers are faced with a projected budget shortfall of up to $700 million next year, so it’s uncertain whether help will be on the way.