Governor Jan Brewer told state agencies last month to submit budget plans that would incorporate a 15 percent cut in current funding.
Brewer says the cuts are not necessarily going to happen but wants to use the plans to determine the impact they would have on each agency, if and when the cuts would need to be implemented.
For the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the outlook is grim.
According to the DPS budget report, if the agency were to lose the 15 percent of funding it currently projects to need, it would force a reduction of nearly 600 officers.
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In a press release, DPS Director Roger Vanderpool says cuts this deep would say to drug and human-smuggling cartels that
Vanderpool says highway patrol units would be hit particularly hard, and the result would be slower response times. Motorists in outlying areas of the state would essentially be "on their own," he says.
Hopefully "on our own" means we get to determine "our own" speed limits in these areas, too.