The head of State Police, Col. Mike Edmonson retires this week, but a state law narrows the search for his permanent replacement. A statute requires the next superintendent to be a commissioned State Police officer who graduated from the LSP academy. But President of the Metropolitan Crime Coalition Rafael Goyeneche says a nationwide search should be conducted.
“When you’re making a selection for an agency like that, you want to make sure that the person that you’re selecting is the best available person for the hire. We can’t do that in Louisiana.”
Governor Edwards is expected to announce the interim head of LSP this week as Edmonson is set to retire on Friday. Once an interim replacement is named, Edwards is expected to begin the process of finding a full time leader. Goyeneche hopes a measure could be filed for the upcoming legislative session to give the governor permission to seek someone outside of Louisiana.
“The idea is that you want to make sure that the person that is appointed is qualified and there are plenty of qualified individuals out there that don’t work for the Louisiana State Police.”
Edmonson announced his retirement last week as the agency is facing multiple investigations looking into a travel scandal. Goyeneche says the LSP could really use a fresh voice and a fresh face to change the culture.
“If there is a scandal, and there is right now, when other law enforcement agencies are under similar scandals, when they’ve had to make a change, they’ve usually reached outside of the organization.”