As a trucking and auto safety attorney in Atlanta, and as a former prosecutor, I have developed a strong appreciation for the competence and professionalism of the Georgia State Patrol.
Now the state’s budget crisis is impacting the GSP’s capacity to cover the rural areas of our state.
According to a report by Rhonda Cook in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, each patrolman will be furloughed two days per month for the rest of the year. That will mean roughly a ten percent pay cut for troopers who are already underpaid.
Some patrol posts have as few as eight troopers to provide 24 hour coverage for 15 to 24 counties. Twenty of the state’s 48 patrol posts close between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. and don’t reopen until 7 a.m., leaving only an operator to take emergency calls and to rouse an on-call trooper from bed to respond.
This is bad news for public safety in Georgia’s rural areas and interstate highways.
Ken Shigley is a civil justice attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who has been listed among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is a national board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group and the Association of Plaintiff Trucking Lawyers of America, and Treasurer of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia.