CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers asked some state lawmakers Monday to financially help his agency.

Smithers spoke on a number of funding topics during his appearance before a legislative interim committee at the state capitol.

The superintendent said the State Police is in need of new cadet classes but they need to be on a consistent basis. He said trying to predict when a new cadet class is going to happen hinders recruiting.

“The problem is the inconsistency in being able to tell that person when we’re going to have a class. So the next thing you know they’re working somewhere else.”

Smithers said if lawmakers would promise to have cadet classes totaling 250 new troopers over the next five years he would have no problem filling the classes.

‘If we knew that the funding was available over the next five years to the point that we could advertise and go out and target people in our areas of┬áneed, it would be a simple process,” he said.

As he has in previous appearances before lawmakers, Col. Smithers stressed the need Monday for an increase in pay for civilian workers with the State Police. He said a recent check of the Records Division, where most workers are civilians, showed a high turnover rate.

“We’ve hired 36 employees and we’ve had 25 turnovers and it’s all because of our starting salaries. It’s horrible,” Smithers said.

Many of the workers head to other law enforcement agencies because, according to Smithers, those agencies know the workers have gone through extensive background checks and they’ve been properly trained.

“Now they are very marketable,” he said.



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  • wvu999

    Lets meet. I have explained it 100 times on here. Maybe if I can get some crayons and draw you a picture you will better understand.

    • NorthernWVman

      I have never seen you actually explain that on here. Just throw out sarcasm. So is the NON working person the one that has millions from building their business or the welfare folks that wish to not raise a hand in helping themselves. Or what exactly do you consider the working people? Is there a certain pay scale these people fall into? Please explain without sarcasm or attack. Thanks.

      • wvu999

        Ill just let you figure it out. When your party figures it out they might actually have a chance to take over the POTUS and WV House. That is why WV is ran by Dems. They havent figured out who working people are yet.

        • NorthernWVman

          so instead of answering the question you divert and lay claim to knowing my party affiliation. Your funny because I am nearly certain you would have no clue as to which of any party I am a member. But thanks for the clear and informative answer. It was much appreciated. I suppose you do not really have answer do you except the "working people" means yourself and whoever you feel fits your mold.

  • Joe

    @wvu999 or anyone else....

    Just so I, amd all, understand, what is meant by the term "working people"? Not sure what the point of the comment above was.

    Thanks in advance.


    The reality is that because of Obama's war on coal and our stupid reliance on the gambling industry(which is now tanking because of competition in neighboring states) the state is in no position to give anyone a raise(including judges and magistrates). We are in survival mode. Obviously all the people you are talking about DESERVE a raise but the states can't just turn on the presses and print money like the feds can.

    • NorthernWVman

      very true and very good comment. Thank you.

  • wvtd

    go to Virginia for better pay in a well run state. get out of this backwater that is stuck in the 1930s.

    • WVtoTX

      Or Texas- no state income tax, lower cost of living, higher average incomes.

  • Teresa

    Its not just the starting pay of civilians that needs adjusting. Civilian employees who have worked for the department for 18 plus years makes only 2 thousand dollars more than a starting civilian in the same job. There needs to be some reward to the employees who have been loyal and stayed with the department. I know a secretary with the WVSP who retired after 30 plus years and she never saw the top of their "pay scale" how can that be? I realize that anymore everyone could use a pay raise in this economy, but the Colonel of the WVSP is directly talking about his civilains not everyone else who works for the state. But don't worry to all you on here complaining that you need a raise they won't even entertain it. Never have and never will. As long as their getting their pay and they can pay their bills and take their family vacations they aren't concerened. But KUDDOS to the Colonel for caring enough to make an attempt.

    • must go

      The pay scale is there for the "political hacks". A "hack" can be paid thousands more than another employee in the same position doing the same job. BUT it is gotten a away with because the sallary range of a pay grade is huge. A pay grade 19 for a particular Division has a range of $39,392.00 to $72,840.00. Most will never even see the middle of this scale. So a hack can be at the top of the scale and be within the paygrade.

    • NorthernWVman

      Simply by raising the longevity pay substantially would raise that gap. I say $150/year. That would greatly increase the disparity between the newest and highest.

  • zero tolerance

    A Correctional Officer who is the only income for a family of 4 works justs barely above the National Poverty Rate. Sad that this is allowed by state legislatures considering their pay for a session. Hope ALL state employees revive a substantial pay raise and soon.

  • jay

    wvu999 -83 years of the democrats in charge of your raises-how is it working out?

    • wvu999

      A lot better than 1 year of republican control.

      • Scott E. Birchfield

        You Sir are an idiot!

  • wv citizen

    All state employees need a structure pay scale! When you have been working as an accounting tech lll and making only 22,000 something is wrong. A pay scale or step increase must be implemented. After working 30 something years with the state you should retire at the highest pay allowable for your job description. A 2% pay increase over eight years is unacceptable! No cola and no pay raises hurt morale and increases the turnover in state employment. Come on Governor and the legislature do something about it NOW!

    • NorthernWVman

      I agree pay should be increased for some employees BUT where else can you have a job that gives you 18 sick days a year, UP TO what is 24 vacation days, 16 holidays, available health, life, dental, eye, insurance at a reasonable rate and a decent retirement in comparison.

  • leroy j gibbs

    I used to be a paramedic tilll I dang near starved to death

  • Mark

    Trooper salaries? Try DOC and Regional Jail salaries!! These Correctional Officers deal with the inmates 24/7 after the troopers drop them off! Maybe there should be a news story on what the starting salary for Correctional Officers are and compare the average salary of those in other States!! PITIFUL!!! Look at these turn over rates!!!

    • Starkville

      AMEN!!!! The good CO's at the Regional Jails, correctional facilities and DJS are the hardest working people I know. They live on meager salaries with no increase in pay for education. It's high time we give credit where credit is due...

    • Leonard Blush

      Mark makes a good point. However, notice that the Colonel is not asking for a raise for Troopers. He is asking to pay civilian staff a competitive salary and to hire more Troopers to fill the void created by retirements and attrition.

  • steve

    who is listening? it appears no one. of course our new dhhr leader went in with twice the pay. now where did all that extra money come from???????????

  • The truth

    wvu99, the last governor who took care of his workers was Underwood and DHHR had a quality secretary in Joan Ohl.

  • jay

    The democrats in charge do not have to give raises because they know the state employees will vote for democrats every time.

    • NorthernWVman

      The last real raise state employees had was under a REPUBLICAN governor. But your right they continue to vote Dem. I wonder why?

    • wvu999

      Republicans are always for raising the salaries of working people (insert sarcasm)

  • The truth

    Welcome to almost all state employees. They want to pay you a salary that is so bad you qualify for food stamps. DHHR has a 30% turnover in staff in many positions and now they are to handle 90000 more people on the welfare rolls from obamacare. I say it is time to have a sick out and see if the politicians can run everything.

    • GregG

      I think its past time for the working middle class to have a sick out. I would say strike, but we don't have any union power left in this country.

  • Joe

    These fine mean and women deserve a significant bump in starting pay and step increases to salaries. Absolutely ridiculous this has not been implemented.

    I am guessing it won't happen again because the most professional, overworked group, the teachers, will have their union wrangle yet more increases to them. The state troopers cannot bring (or would) the ol' "it's for the kids" argument.

    • Wv citizen

      I am a proud employee of the state of wv. I'm also a manager an works in an agency that requires advanced degrees for employment. I am constantly losing young skilled motivated employees to the private sector, federal government and other bordering state agencies due to the salary. It is impossible to recruit individuals with experience after they find out how low our salaries are. The last time I checked statistics wv was next to last in the nation for state employee salaries. We may be very last now. At the current time there's no pay scale which allows time in service increase in pay, not even for cost of living. Our system is solely dependent on the occasional "throwing of a bone" of a legislature during an election year. During governor Manchins time all merit raises were ceased due to the economic status of the state; however, funny how governor Manchins salary increased over 50 thousand that year. The current administration seems to have followed in being equally non supportive of state employees. In the past I have voted for democratic parties however I can no longer support a party that has been anti state employee and has shown such lack of concern for it own employees.