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The Boston Globe

Metro

State Police drug, auto theft units closed

Budget constraints shut down squads

The head of the State Police said he has disbanded the agency’s decades-old drug diversion unit and auto theft strike force to deal with current realities: a shortage of troopers, a budget shortfall, and increased responsibilities.

Colonel Timothy P. Alben said the dissolution of the two squads at the end of December allowed him to shift 25 troopers to the Massachusetts Turnpike and Logan International Airport, both areas where police vacancies have gone unfilled and more forces were needed. He said it will also help him reduce a $3 million deficit in this year’s State Police budget because their salaries will come from the highway and airport budgets.

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