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 need, 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.



bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Rocketscientist

    Its hard for me to shed a tear for what the State Troopers are earning here in WV. Take a look at the states correctional officers for example. A Correctional officer for the state starts out at around $21,000 and is forced to work up to 60hrs a week. West Virginia State Police Trooper salary is $28,122.00 to $46,494.00
    West Virginia State Police Senior Trooper salary is $38,482.00 to $46,882.00
    Median is $37+. The median trooper salary is close to what WARDENS of the state institutions make. Most troopers work for 20 years on the job where state Corrections officers have to work 30+ just because they can't afford to retire. West Virginia State Police Sergeant salary is $43,834.00 to $52,234.00
    West Virginia State Police First Sergeant salary $45,922.00 to $54,322.00
    Median salary is $49,078. There are dangers in both jobs and yes both branches knew what they were getting into when they applied for these jobs but forgive me if I don't shed a tear for the wages of the troopers and their great retirement package.

  • sam

    i agree that the bottom 10 percent of state employees need a raise. if you are already making 60 or 70 a year and doing nothing in return you do not need a raise. the 25-30 years of service state employees need to retire. also get rid of the double dipping employees. how many have already retired from state service and have returned to fill a position? our law makers can try and live off my paycheck from week to week.

  • State worker

    I noticed in the picture that Governor Tomblin is standing beside Col. Smithers at the press conference offering his support. When is can we expect the Commisioner of Corrections to hold press conference about the pay that DOC workers receive??????

    • NorthernWVman

      Didn't DOC employees recieve a salary increase within the last 3 years?

  • james

    Never fret. Our governor has a $150,000 per year salary with the average governor making 138,000. Our legislature is doing quite will in the average also.

    The unions are doing quite well with the prevailing wage as it has been increased regularly by the state over the last five years while denying everyone but elected officials staff pay raises. Of course the union dues are a percentage of salary and they contribute regularly to the politicians.

    The prevailing wage is set by replies from the unions as to what they think it should be not by the UD dept of labor reports on wages of occupations. Maybe we should let state employees, teachers and state police tell the legislature what their wages should be.

    While wv remains late in wages for private sector and public sector employees our elected officials wages rank near the top. As well as their staff and political cronies hired by them. Of course they all take high paying jobs to get the three year high to get a pension. i.e. Bob Kiss, Rick Thompson, and Joe Smith a former atty for the legislature.

    But as your former governor and current Senator said as he took a $70,000 pay raise, shop at a discount clothing store and be happy you have jobs. By the way he gave $15,000 plus raises to his friends and family working in his office.
    Go ahead and pull that lever and keep voting these people back into office. You get what you deserve for continuing to elect his crew.

  • stophating

    I love the 80+ years of democratic rule argument...

    Would anyone argue that former governor Manchin was closer to a tea party republican while governor that a tax and spend democrat? He cut business taxes, cut spending, and could have cared less about the salaries of those working for the state. He is a democrat in name only--remember after winning election to the senate the republican party tried to recruit him to swap political affiliations.
    Current Governor, Earl Ray Tomblin has followed the mold set by Manchin and is much closer to be a tea party member than a democrat.

    The WV Senate is about as conservative as Tomblin and Manchin (both of whom were past members).

    The WV House of Delegates is a moderate body by my take.

    Those screaming to vote the democrats out are probably to the far right of the tea party.

  • State employee.

    Your right shypesjr. You can't call Earl Ray a liar because he's not. He said NO RAISES for state employees and he has stood behind his statement.

  • Mark

    ALL STATE EMPLOYEES need a pay raise Earl Ray!!

  • do re me

    Holy schnikes, another article concerning "horrible" salaries for state employees! Don’t all articles concerning concerning state employees start out this way? Not surprising, the legislature has balanced the budget on the back of state employees.

  • shypesjr

    It's all just a bunch of smoke. Tomblin already said that there would be no raises for any State Employees for the next several years. And guess what. He got elected anyway.

  • Mark

    I agree ALL STATE EMPLOYEES deserve a pay raise, but you can yell, scream, jump up in down or whatever because it's not gonna help. Earl Ray dosen't care about his employees. The facts prove it. He has never given raises and he never will.

    • NorthernWVman

      I agree he never will even if we did have the money. But right now in our current state of affairs where would you suggest themoney come from? Toll road fees?

  • Jeffrey


    The most holidays you can have is 15 not 16 and the average is 13. It all depends on how the calendar falls. And the "available dental and eye" is NOT reasonable. It's completely UNsubsidized by the state. The employee pays 100% of the premium.

    There are certainly advantages to working for the state, but the insurance is vastly overstated. And I'd personally trade 1/2 those holidays away in a heartbeat for a small COLA.

    • NorthernWVman

      Well your wrong. Do you need me to send you a link to the Divion of Personnel's site where the Holiday calender is? Look at 2008 for an example. 16 holidays because New Years and Christmas eve were given as full days as it has for the past 20 years except last year.

      As for insurance being subsidized or not it is still very affordable and are the premiums not based upon salary?

      I simply would not complain so much if I were a state employee because the grass is definately not greener on the other side of the fence.

      That being said I would say that the vast majority (not all as you know working in government) are fantastic employees. I give great gratitude to them for the jobs they do. If you would have seen my earlier post it did say many deserve a salary increase.

      • Scott E. Birchfield

        I have been an employee for 15 years and have saw hire ups get up to $30k a year raises. I have had ONE that is right ONE raise in 2004 and NONE since.

  • Whitney Miller

    I 100% agree with pay raises for civilian workers but could we also focus on raises for the Troopers who are risking their lives on a daily basis? State Police are the lowest paid police agency in the Eastern Panhandle, for example. A trooper who has been in for four years makes the same salary as a trooper who has been in for ten! No raises for anyone is a bit ridiculous, for any agency.
    Perhaps if the Troopers we have now could be given an incentive to like their jobs and enjoy the agency they work for, then a new class could be postponed for two years. Maybe they would work a little harder on the road. Give all current employees a raise.
    It's sad when you work for such a top notch agency but your family qualifies for food stamps or other government benefits due to low wages!!

  • 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.