LA State Police’s Reputation Sinks to Historic Low as Corruption Runs Rampant!

Other historic scandal years pale in comparison to 2017. In this year, the former longtime superintendent, Mike Edmonson, is awaiting prosecution. He is accused of erasing text messages from a Las Vegas pleasure trip which the taxpayers paid for. He is also accused utilizing state police for personal gain.

Four troopers are also accused of taking the illegal Las Vegas trip with Edmonson. These troopers were violated state travel policy.

One state trooper was paid an unbelievable $147,000 in overtime pay in 2016. In October 2017, the State Police officially prohibited a highway traffic enforcement program and began a criminal investigation into three troopers who filed pay sheets claiming false travel amounting in one case to $147,000 in overtime in last year.

A legislative audit still to be released learned that Edmonson often took a variety of  handouts during his nine year career as superintendent.  He lived rent-free, trustees served his family and ordered state troopers to drive his wife around Louisiana. Utilizing prisoners for personal gain brings in the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

According to the president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Rafael Goyeneche, he has never seen anything like this during his 35 year career in law enforcement. Says Goyeneche, This was rot – not from the core but from the top – and it was infiltrating down into the organization.

I fully expect the best is yet to come. There are federal and state investigations into the Louisiana State Troopers Association. The troopers group collects dues from its members and acts as a benevolent group to help troopers in need.

One of the worst of this litany of public wrongdoing is the agency’s own report that Edmonson deleted text messages from a trooper’s phone which bootstrapped an internal investigation he had ordered into the detour troopers took to Las Vegas on the way to a California law enforcement conference.

Col. Kevin Reeves, Edmonson’s quiet successor and the rest of the State Police brass are struggling to contain a serious crisis in public confidence due to the public’s perception the State Police are abusing their power and are arrogant as well. This indicates a fall from the public’s grace, not a good place for the State Police to be in. Who is responsible for policing the police?

It appears things are changing for the better, in this problem area. Previously, trooper discipline was the responsibility of the State Police Superintendent; now, Reeves has instituted a round table methodology where Reeves and his senior command staff consider these cases jointly.  This move effectively takes the Superintendent  off the hot seat here.

Reeves has said, I don’t have all the right answers and I can’t sit here and tell you that I know, in every disciplinary case, what the right thing to do is. It also ensures that I cannot, in good faith, give one person discipline one way and have another employee who does virtually the same thing receive a harsher or lesser discipline. 

Reeves is a forward thinking leader. His administration is pursuing the purchase of an $11 million computer system which would allow the agency to track the location of troopers in real time.

According to Reeves, a computer-aided dispatch system would not only enhance officer safety and allow for more efficient dispatching. It will also hold us accountable, he said, It would truly be a plus, and I would say it’s a necessity for our agency.

 

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~ by neworleansmusicman on December 5, 2017.

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