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Former Oklahoma governors: Legislature needs to tend to Highway Patrol

BY FRANK KEATING AND GEORGE NIGH Published: March 24, 2013

What's the solution? We believe sound public policy is a reasonable, affordable salary increase schedule for the OHP, to be more competitive with police department salaries while providing the resources necessary for more effective recruitment, and most importantly, retention of cadets.

Public safety is a core priority of state government, one that must be valued as such. Whether it's the public or private sector, human nature dictates employees will gravitate toward the best-paying jobs within their profession. Law enforcement is no different. While we recognize the give and take that has to occur within the legislative process on the many important issues lawmakers face, we also strongly believe 2013 is the year Oklahoma must make an impactful statement in support of public safety.

We expect troopers to be there for us. We should do the same for them. The opportunity is available. The OHP deserves it. The time to act is now.

Nigh, a Democrat, served as Oklahoma's 22nd governor from 1979-1987. Keating, a Republican, served as Oklahoma's 25th governor from 1995-2003.