Louisiana State Police faces possible Trooper layoffs

The following is a news release from the Louisiana State Police:

Baton Rouge – The Louisiana State Police has worked diligently to streamline agency operations without adversely affecting public safety.  However, the House Appropriations Committee recently amended HB 1 removing over $800,000 from the Traffic Enforcement Program within the Louisiana State Police's budget.  This amendment would force the Department to lay off State Troopers which has never been done in its 75 year history.

"Public safety has been and continues to be my number one priority.  Up to this point we have been able to make significant budget reductions while maintaining the level of service expected by the citizens we serve," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent.  "We have 'done more with less' in the form of vehicles, equipment, training and support services.  I do not want to be the first Superintendent in our long history to lay off Troopers."

State Police has not hired any new Troopers since 2008 yet has found ways to continue to ensure public safety by working more efficiently, effectively and through unprecedented partnerships.  However, with each passing year, the number of troopers continues to decline through attrition.  If State Police is forced to lay off Troopers, it would negatively impact the number of criminal arrests made, crashes investigated, motorists assisted and response times. Additionally, this will contribute to the state trooper patrol strength falling below the recommended levels noted in a recent manpower study.  All of which will negatively affect public safety in Louisiana.

Edmonson continued, "Although we have faced considerable budget challenges over the last three years, we have experienced a significant decrease in the number of fatality and injury crashes while increasing the number of DWI arrests.  I attribute this success to proactive enforcement, a strong educational message and public safety partnerships."