Updated: Thursday, 31 Dec 2009, 12:05 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 31 Dec 2009, 12:03 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Over 40 state workers started New Year's Eve with an unpleasant morning chore. They had to turn in their work gear and hit the unemployment rolls.
"This is not the kind of retirement going away I'd anticipated," said Jay Ellis.
Ellis spent 30 years with the Indiana State Police, most of them
out on the road, checking trucks and buses for safety problems.
Thursday, Ellis and 41 other Motor Carrier Division Inspectors turned in their cars, keys and equipment.
"I understand the need to cut back on the budget," Ellis said. "But to come in after this many years as a good employee and say, 'We're done with you and out the door you go?'"
Fellow out-of-work inspector Tim Marriott said, "They could have done it with a little more professionalism and a little more tact."
Marriott sees irony and trouble in the timing. His last day on the road was the same day state leaders were celebrating a big drop in deadly accidents .
"And now you're taking people off the road," Marriott said. "I
don’t know what's going to happen to public safety now. I
Though they drive squad cars, inspectors are civilian employees who do not carry firearms.
The cuts leave ISP with less than half the number of inspectors the department had the day before.
ISP leaders said troopers will take over some of the chores the inspectors usually do.