BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A history of excessive force and cover-ups led lawmakers to meet with Louisiana State Police. The two groups hope to put new rules in place to govern troopers.
Colonel Lamar Davis and other Louisiana State Police leaders met with legislators at the State Capitol to commit themselves to change. These changes range from policies to the agency’s overall culture.
“I’ve committed to having those tough conversations and I’ve committed to doing the right things for the right reasons,” stated Davis.
A sea of blue uniforms took over the room for the first State Police oversight meeting. Senator Franklin Foil heads the Senate Select Committee on State Police Oversight.
“There have been some unfortunate events in the news, so we felt as a legislative body that we should use our oversight powers to review what the agencies are doing and see what problems they might have and what improvements they can make,” said Sen. Franklin Foil.
Davis said they look to implement several changes, one being the use of force.
“We ban chokeholds, that’s something that’s banned. We also banned ramming unless there are deadly forces authorized,” he said.
He looks to break this behavior down further by addressing the psychological changes that must happen within the agency.
“Bringing in implicit bias training, that’s something that helps educate our personnel with regards to their viewpoint towards our citizens and likewise, I believe that provides them with a resource and tool so they can act properly when interacting with the community,” said Davis.
“What we did is we contracted with Far and Impartial Policing, which is one of the top vendors in the nation that carries out this training, and we implemented implicit bias training for all of our personnel and our goal was to finish every single commission person at the end of this year,” Louisiana State Police Lt. Col. M. Doug Cain added. “It’s to help prevent misconduct, avoid mistakes, which can be deadly for officers and the public, and promote officer health and wellness.”
Body camera and internal investigation reform are also on the colonel’s agenda.
“Our body cameras must be powered on and ready to receive a signal at all times. When a trooper or DPS Officer is transporting a prisoner, the cameras will be on and reporting. When an officer is traveling to a pursuit or known use of force encounter, not only just when they arrive on scene will the be recorded, the travel will also,” said Cpt. Robert Burns.
These are just a few of the many changes. Davis said they’re headed in the right direction.
“When we perform our duties, we need to do some compassionately and that will make the best outcome for all involved,” said Davis.
As the new Cadet Class 100 starts its journey in December, Colonel Davis ensures their training will reflect the positive changes the organization is looking to implement.