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Mass. State Police Cuts Two Specialized Units

The head of the Massachusetts State Police has disbanded two of its specialized squads due to a shortage of troopers and a lack of funds.

The drug diversion unit and auto theft strike force were dissolved at the end of December to allow the agency to shift 25 troopers to the Massachusetts Turnpike and Logan International Airport, according to The Boston Globe.

Colonel Timothy P. Alben told the newspaper that the move will help reduce a $3 million deficit in this year's budget because the salaries for the troopers will come from the highway and airport budgets.

"We are trying to show we are being diligent with taxpayer dollars and putting resources toward issues most important to people of Massachusetts," Alben said. "We are at the mercy of the economy."

The eight-member drug diversion unit was created in 1974 to target the theft and illegal distribution of prescription drugs.

Alben said the types of investigations the unit dealt with are not being abandoned and will be handled by narcotics units assigned to district attorneys.