ADDRESSING ISSUES - The Louisiana State Police has had it’s share of controversies the past few month; last March its Superintendent- Col Mike Edmonson resigned amid investigations into Troopers using state funds for personal side-trips to Las Vegas and a recent La. State Legislative Audit shows the former superintendent allegedly abused his position for personal use. Federal investigators are looking into these findings. Meanwhile, his replacement, Colonel Kevin Reeves told the Baton Rouge Press club yesterday, that recent allegations into Troopers collecting huge amounts of questionable overtime pay has been immediately addressed. "Upon finding out of the allegations, we immediately stopped LACE." Reeves added "And until there's some meaningful change that can take place in the program, then we'll see if we're going to open the program back up." Reeves was referring to the Local Agency Compensated Enforcement program (LACE) which is funded by district attorneys, who contract with state police to provide extra patrols on local stretches of state highways. This fund pays for the troopers' overtime and mileage. Reeves stated further there's been a major change in how alleged infractions bu
troopers are being handled internally. Formerly the superintendent alone decided if and what disciplinary action would be taken. Now a disciplinary review panel meets, deliberates, and hands down disciplinary action. Reeves said "I wanted to make sure there was no way that I could say, 'for this trooper right here, we're going to handle it this way' and I don't particularly care for that trooper, but 'for this trooper over here' that I'm friends with, we're going to handle it another way."
Col Reeves says his agency’s morale has taken a hit, but stresses "the controversies are the actions of a few" and “don't reflect the conduct of the entire state police agency.” Public Radio WRKF in Baton Rouge contributed to this report.