In a cost-cutting move, the state is closing 10 Florida Highway Patrol offices today.
Locally, the stations Starke and East Palatka are being closed down.
Bill Leeper with the FHP says the closures will *not* mean a reduction in force.
"The number of state troopers assigned to those areas will remain the same," says Leeper, "so we'll have coverage, and response times by our troopers will not be impacted."
Leeper says the offices selected to close were chosen carefully.
"We made the decision that those were stations we could close and not affect our operations. Those troopers will be moved over to St. Augustine and Jacksonville."
Officers previously assigned to Starke and East Palatka will be re-assigned to Jacksonville or St. Augustine.
In some cases, the building leases will end; in others like East Palatka, the counties will take them over.
"Public safety is our top concern, so we're going to partner with the county in Putnam County. They're going to take over that building and allow troopers to remain there. So we'll still have a presence in that area."
The other stations closing are in Fruitland Park, Madison, Quincy, Marianna, Crestview, Lake Placid, Arcadia and Naples.