Colonel Lamar Davis expressed concern to lawmakers over the growing number of state troopers leaving the department. He said troopers are choosing to retire much sooner than they did in the past and there are just under 900 troopers in Louisiana.
“And there’s a myriad of reasons why, but among the top, as I look at their exit interviews is pay,” said Davis.
Davis said troopers in Texas are paid almost twice as much and the pay in Tennessee and Mississippi surpasses Louisiana.
In the past staffing shortages prompted LSP to hold trooper academies, but Davis said there’s a need to hold continuous training for new officers to avoid vacancies.
“I think it’s going to be important for us to really build a program where we we’re having consistent academies year in and year out. That way we can offset that large amount of attrition that we are faced with now,” said Davis.
Another area the department, Davis said, needs improvement is the recruitment and retention of officers.
“We need to recruit any and everywhere, in all of our communities. Think outside the box, do a better job of reaching our younger people earlier, and putting public service back on their minds, back in their hearts,” said Davis.
Davis said they are doing more community outreach in an effort to build trust and also recruit potential cadets.