BOSTON (AP) -- The commander of the Massachusetts State Police has disbanded the department's drug diversion unit and auto theft strike force and redeployed those troopers and resources to what he considers more critical assignments.
Col. Timothy Alben says 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 tells The Boston Globe (http://bo.st/VNNY8r) it will also help him reduce a $3 million deficit in this year's budget because their salaries will come from the highway and airport budgets.
Alben says he has to be diligent with taxpayer money.
Critics of the move say tackling prescription drug abuse should be a priority.
Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe