Washington State Patrol chief takes issue with report on staffing woes

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — An outside study of the Washington State Patrol has found that the agency struggles with recruiting and retaining troopers due to low pay and dissatisfaction with management.

The Daily Herald reports that Chief John Batiste says he welcomed the look into his agencies problems, but disagrees that low morale and conflicts with management could be the cause.

The $240,000 study prepared by Public Financial Management, Inc. looked at the agency's pay scales, hiring policies and recruitment practices and recommended changes in all areas to try to fill the vacancies and slow departures.

Batiste says he hopes the Legislature will address the low salaries, but that he has not encountered low morale and he has no interest in making changes in management.