The Indiana State Police recently announced the state has eliminated 42 Inspection Officers from its Motor Carrier Division.
The cuts amount to half of the division's existing staff, and were made as a cost-cutting move due to the state's financial status.
"It is truly regrettable that we have had to reduce the workforce," ISP 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten told The Brazil Times. "We are currently going through the most sever economic conditions since The Great Depression which is affecting every state agency in the nation, and we have a finite amount of resources that we have to work with."
The last day of work for the 42 positions being cut is Dec. 31, which Bursten said were spread out across the state.
"If you split the state into four quadrants, the fewest positions cut in one area was eight, and the most was 12," he said.
Bursten added full-time troopers are being reassigned to fill in for the duties of the inspection officers.
"Inspection officers do not carry weapons and are responsible for enforcing laws and restrictions on heavy load trucks weighing in excess of 26,000 pounds," he said. When they come across a situation involving a driving under the influence (DUI) case, they have to call enforcement officers, which are troopers."
The Motor Carrier Division is also responsible for the inspection of school buses, along with large trucks, which Bursten said would not be affected by the cuts.
"School bus inspections will be maintained as scheduled," he said. "For bus inspections, both inspection and enforcement officers are involved."
He also said the decision to make the cuts was not made easily.
"I don't think anyone wants to see a tax increase," Bursten said. "Agencies are having to make the same tough decisions as every other state in the country, but Indiana is in much better shape than many other states."
Bursten likened the state's situation to that of many families trying to get through the current economic climate.
"The decision did not come lightly," he said. "Right now, the state is doing the same thing as families who are looking at their own personal budgets to determine what is the best thing to do."