UPDATE: Miss. troopers to drive less to save money

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi Public Safety Commissioner Stephen Simpson says his agency has cut the miles troopers can travel as part of an effort to save money.

The Legislature cut the department’s budget by 5 percent last year and executive cuts by Gov. Haley Barbour pushed it up to 9 percent, with another trim likely in the next several weeks.

Simpson said he expects the 2011 budget to be 9 percent smaller.

Simpson told The Hattiesburg American editorial board the department has taken various measures to cut costs, including reducing the number of miles each trooper travels monthly in his or her territory from 5,000 to 2,500.

That move will ease the wear and tear on the troopers’ vehicles, but will reduce their patrols significantly.