FHP to stop raises for troopers, this on the heels of hiring freeze

ORLANDO, Fla. — Last week, 9 Investigates told you that the Florida Highway Patrol was not going to hire more troopers until June 2025 despite currently having 102 vacancies.

The agency told WFTV that number is low compared to other years and that is why the agency told WFTV last week that they decided not to hire more troopers until June of 2025.


However, after Channel 9s story about that hiring freeze, troopers told 9 Investigates that there was more to the story.

9 investigates has now learned that there is not only a hiring freeze but raises that were recently received will not continue.

The head of the states Police Benevolent Association, that represents the troopers, told WFTV that the Florida Highway Patrol is underfunded and operating in the red.

Read: Why is there a hold on hiring at the Florida Highway Patrol?

Something happened inside the agency in the last year that contributed to the decision not to continue the merit raises, but what that ‘something’ is, the FHP won’t say.

In fact, WFTV tried to ask Lt. Colonel Mark Brown during an interview for another story this week, but the public information officer shut our questions down and told us to email them in.

9 Investigates has emailed several times and has been asking the FHP spokesperson for more than a week to be transparent about the financials at FHP, but all our questions for this story have gone unanswered.

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Troopers and the PBA president Bill Smith, confirmed to WFTV that a “rate allocation” was made at the agency to the tune of about $13 million without the legislatures approval and that was not only questionable, but also not sustainable.

The money must come from somewhere - so less than a year after those raises, the merit/step plan has been discontinued.

Smith told Channel 9, “So this current fiscal year, it wasn’t funded, because of what was done, how it was done, and the new fiscal year starting July 1, it wasn’t funded either. Actually, the agency itself is underfunded moving forward. We needed about $27 million.”

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But all might not be, the legislature could call a special session this summer to try and give more money to the Florida Highway Patrol to try to bring it out of that deficit.

The PBA hopes the financial situation gets worked out before they lose troopers, putting them back in the position they were in a few years ago with hundreds and hundreds of openings.

“I’m still a trooper, I understand their frustration and they’re frustrated and they’re mad,” Smith added.

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.