The Kansas Highway Patrol is asking state lawmakers to support a $7.50 increase in vehicle title fees to hire an additional 75 troopers to address a sharp decline in manpower.
The Wichita Eagle reports more than one-third of the counties in Kansas have no Highway Patrol presence, while 29 are served by only one trooper. The other 40 counties are served by two or more officers.
Patrol Superintendent Col. Mark Bruce sent a letter to lawmakers say there were 501 troopers in 2006 but only 419 now.
The patrol also is asking members of the public to fill out a survey focusing on whether troopers should be allowed to have certain types of tattoos. Current policy bars applicants from having visible or offensive tattoos.