February 19th, 2020
Arrogant State Police Demand Jim Tobin Apologize
Illinois Radio Network, which serves more than 50 stations statewide, has reported two NTUI stories this month; one about National Tax Freedom Day on April 9 and another about a recent budget proposal which will cut state police presence. The following story was broadcast April 2 on KMOX Radio, the largest station in Southern Illinois.
SPRINGFIELD Ill. (IRN) — The looming layoff of 450 state troopers is not a problem to a taxpayer advocate.
The layoffs are an effort to save $32 million. Jim Tobin, head of National Taxpayers United of Illinois, says laying off all 2,000 state troopers would save even more money.
Tobin says if troopers aren’t patrolling the interstates, local police and county sheriffs can do it. He’d like to see the speed limit repealed too, so there’s less need for enforcement.
Tobin also complains that state troopers are overpaid and have pension benefits that are too lavish: A first-year trooper’s base salary is $52,376, and after 26 years and eight months, a trooper will make over $100,000, according to the State Police Merit Board.
Pensions are 80 percent of a state employee’s final salary, with annual cost-of-living increases. Tobin says if a trooper retires at age 52, that can amount to $3 million in pension payments over his remaining life.
State Police Director Jonathon Monken testified that the loss of troopers will result in the loss of $12 million in speeding ticket revenue. Tobin says that’s a benefit to drivers.
Following this story, several state policemen contacted our office criticizing President Jim Tobin and demanding he apologize to the state police. Meanwhile, Tobin maintains that proposed budget cuts—such as Senator Bill Brady’s requested pay cuts for state police officers—do not go far enough. According to Tobin, the entire state highway patrol must be disbanded.