After spending nine years as the leader of State Police, Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson announces his plans to retire March 24th. The agency has been the center of controversy regarding questionable travel by four state troopers. Edmonson says he loves his job, but stepping down brings a sense of normalcy to the department.
“I’m not bigger than State Police. I think what’s most important is the men and women that make up public safety and the men and women that make up State Police. They need to continue forward. We certainly don’t need any distractions,” Edmonson said.
Edmonson says he will work with Governor John Bel Edwards and his successor to make the transition as seamless as possible. He says he wouldn’t have done anything differently because problems are always going to arise.
“We’ll get to the bottom of anything with regard to any of the travel and those types of things. Any things that need to be changed, rules, procedures, protocols, I’ve already changed some. If discipline needs to be part of that, we’ll certainly do that, and we’ll move forward,” Edmonson said.
LSP is under investigation by multiple agencies after four troopers made taxpayer funded overnight stops in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon while heading to a training conference in San Diego. Political analyst Clancy Dubos the announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise.
“I’m not saying he did anything wrong, but when the head of an organization is in the middle of a controversy that has become a major distraction for that organization, it’s time to make a change,” Dubos said.
Over a dozen members of State Police have also been subpoenaed as part of federal investigation into illegal campaign contributions involving the Louisiana State Troopers Association and its executive director. Dubos says Edmonson retirement is the best move for everyone involved.
“It has become obvious that the State Police as an organization needs a change in culture, and it’s hard to change the culture without changing the person at the top of that organization,” Dubos said.