Governor Shapiro Gets Stuff Done: Securing Investments in Public Safety, Law Enforcement, and Violence Prevention

Governor Shapiro secured funding for nearly 400 new state troopers, helped encourage more Pennsylvanians to apply to join PSP, and invested tens of millions in violence prevention efforts.

Harrisburg, PA – Public safety is a top priority in the Shapiro Administration – and throughout his first year in office, Governor Shapiro got stuff done and delivered on many of the goals he laid out on the campaign trail and in his budget address to build safer communities.

Governor Shapiro believes every Pennsylvanian deserves to be safe and feel safe in their community – and his Administration has worked and delivered real results to ensure the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement have the support and resources they need to keep our communities safe.

Read more about how the Shapiro Administration supported the work of law enforcement, invested in our communities, and pursued smart reforms to keep people safe across the Commonwealth below. 

Ensuring the Pennsylvania State Police Have the Resources and Support They Need

In the 2023-24 budget, Governor Shapiro secured several key investments to support law enforcement, ensure Pennsylvanians are and feel safe in their communities, and address community violence, including:

  • Sustainable funding for the PSP through the General Fund, reducing PSP’s reliance on the Motor License Fund (MLF) by $125 million annually over the next four years, putting those dollars directly into road and bridge projects. This was a key campaign promise for the Governor, guaranteeing PSP has a stable, sustainable funding source for the long-term while freeing up more state funds for key infrastructure projects.
  • $16.4 million in new funding for four trooper cadet classes in 2023-24, to train nearly 400 new troopers, fill staffing gaps, provide more coverage, and ensure that Pennsylvania State Police are well-funded and well-trained. Governor Shapiro signed HB 1300 into law last week, increasing the PSP trooper cap to allow PSP to utilize that funding.
  • In August, the PSP announced that it would remove the college credit requirement to expand opportunities for Pennsylvanians seeking careers as state troopers. Municipal police shortages across the Commonwealth is one of the most pressing workforce shortages the Commonwealth faces, and waiving the college degree requirement on a trial basis for this next period of cadet applications will help the PSP attract and retain quality talent.
  • Following a significant increase in applicants, the PSP opened another application period without a college credit requirement for Pennsylvanians in November. Over a six-month period with a college credit requirement, approximately 150 people per month took the state trooper exam. During the two-month period without a college credit requirement, 537 people per month took the state trooper exam – marking a 258% increase in applicants taking the test to become state troopers.
  • Today, Governor Shapiro joined PSP Commissioner Colonel Paris to break ground on a new PSP Academy while unveiling design plans for the new world-class law enforcement training facility. The modernization project replaces outdated infrastructure with state-of-the-art facilities, representing the most comprehensive update to the Academy since it opened in 1960, and will help Pennsylvania continue to have well-staffed, well-funded, well-trained, and well-equipped law enforcement to keep communities safe.

Securing Budget and Grant Investments in Violence Intervention Programs and Law Enforcement Recruitment Grants

In the 2023-24 budget, Governor Shapiro secured significant state funding to address community violence, and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) announced availability in grant funding to support local law enforcement recruitment and address staffing shortages in law enforcement, including:

  • $40 million in state funding for the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) program – a $10 million increase from last year – to address community violence throughout the Commonwealth, on top of funding at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to reduce gun violence and make communities safer. VIP grant applications are currently open until January 18, 2024.
  • Earlier this year, PCCD announced the availability of $14 million in grant funding to support local law enforcement recruitment and address staffing shortages in law enforcement. In this first group of selected applications under Recruitment Incentives for Law Enforcement, 20 law enforcement agencies will collectively receive just over $1 million in grant funding to hire and train an estimated 225 vacant law enforcement positions, making sure Pennsylvania is on its way to reaching that goal.

Creating the Pennsylvania Citizen Law Enforcement Advisory and Review (CLEAR) Commission

  • In November, Governor Shapiro signed Executive Order 2023-21 creating the Pennsylvania Citizen Law Enforcement Advisory and Review (CLEAR) Commission. The CLEAR Commission will bring together law enforcement experts and criminal justice reform advocates from across the Commonwealth to support public safety and ensure accountability for state law enforcement agencies who work hard to serve Pennsylvanians every day.
  • The Commission is established within the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG), which will assist and provide administrative support. The Commission will perform reviews of completed internal investigations, and ultimately make recommendations based on those reviews, related to allegations or incidents within agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor.
  • The CLEAR Commission will prepare and submit annual reports to Governor Shapiro that will be made publicly accessible online. This work to annually review the Commonwealth’s policing practices and recommend improvements to Commonwealth agencies is critical to help improve and update law enforcement practices and keep Pennsylvanians safe.
  • The Shapiro Administration is committed to increasing transparency and accountability within law enforcement. Governor Shapiro also supported the Pennsylvania State Police pilot program for body-worn cameras, which began earlier this year.

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