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Superintendent gives update on reforms within Louisiana State Police

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 5:55 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis told reporters Monday that his agency has come a long way. He says part of the goal behind the agency reform is to bring more accountability to the table.

He explains it will now be mandatory for every on-duty officer to have their body cameras turned on. Also, supervisors will randomly check those cameras on a quarterly basis.

“For me, it’s very important, it’s vital that we put things in place to ensure that, you know, we do not have instances of excessive force in our agency or in our profession,” Col. Davis said.

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He also says technology has brought them closer to achieving their goal of being as responsive as they possibly can, particularly with the computer-aided-dispatch system. The system helps track troopers’ locations.

“When I came in in 2018, look for that computer-aided dispatch, that CAD, to show you how outdated we were. In 2018 when I started working to implement that system, we were only 1 of 4 state police highway patrol agencies in the nation that did not have a CAD system,” Col. Davis explained.

They are also actively looking to bring more diversity to the force. According to Col. Davis, the upcoming class of troopers is the most diverse class the state has on record.

“I think that’s important to note because, you know, our society has become more diverse, it’s become less monolithic and more diverse. And as we look at that, we definitely want to emulate our society. And that as I see it is value-added,” Col. Davis continued.

But perhaps the biggest challenge state police find themselves facing today is recruiting more troopers. Col. Davis says as of today, State Police are about 200 troopers short of where they would like to be.

“Frankly with the anti-police climate, that contributes to personnel wanting to retire. Two, the internal issues that we’ve experienced, that’s something that’s also contributed,” said Col. Davis.

One of the ways they are looking to get more boots on the ground is to ramp up basic training for cadet hopefuls. Col. Davis told said he plans to have at least one academy per year moving forward. He added he’s currently hosting an academy right now and is looking to begin another immediately following this one.

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