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State police forces shrinking across nation

By Larry Copeland
USA Today

The number of highway patrol officers has shrunk in a dozen states in the past 13 years and failed to keep pace with population gains in others, leaving stretches of highways unpatrolled during late-night and early-morning hours, a USA TODAY analysis of federal and state data finds.

The shortages, which come as states battle billions of dollars in budget gaps, have forced places such as Oregon to cut down on 24-hour patrolling. Other states, such as Michigan, also have limited how many miles a trooper can drive per day.

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