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An Examination of Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Coverage of Municipalities

This study explored issues surrounding the provision of police services by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) to municipalities in Pennsylvania that either have no police department at all, or that have only a part-time police department. Justice Center researchers investigated the level of PSP service provided to municipalities as well as the amount and types of revenue that the Commonwealth received from the municipalities.

Project Team

  • Principal Investigator: Gary Zajac, Ph.D. (
  • Research Associate: Lindsay Kowalski, M.A.

About the Project

  • Funded by Center for Rural Pennsylvania to analyze PSP service provision to municipalities over the period of Jan. 2006 - Dec. 2010.

Research Questions

  • How many municipalities did PSP serve and what level of service was provided?
  • How much and what types of revenue has the Commonwealth received from the municipalities? (fines)

Project Details

  • Collected existing administrative data from PSP Bureau of Research & Development
  • Administrative Office of the PA Courts provided data on fines.


  • PSP provided full- or part-time coverage to 67% of all municipalities in PA (92% of all rural municipalities).
  • 72% of PSP incidents occur in municipalities that rely on PSP for full- or part-time law enforcement services.
  • Half of traffic fine revenue is returned to municipalities; Commonwealth retains revenue from all non-traffic fines with 64% coming from rural areas.

Final Report