Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has created a task force to examine how to streamline state law enforcement agencies and trim budgets by 10 percent.
This is the third task force he’s asked for during his two-plus years as governor. Included in this latest request are the Alabama Marine Police and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources game wardens divisions.
Both are understaffed and have been for years. A large group of game wardens were hired in 1972 and when those officers began retiring in the mid-1990s, some vacancies were not immediately filled. Others were filled by retired game wardens assisting in part-time roles permitted by the state, and vacancies have been filled here and there over the years.
Alabama’s governors have asked for state agency cuts for several years. Although the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is almost entirely self-funded, it also has been part of the budget streamlining process.
Task force chairman Spencer Collier, director of the state’s Homeland Security agency and once considered for the Conservation Commissioner’s post, is working with the heads of five agencies with enforcement staffs.