BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Governor John Bel Edwards has chosen Major Kevin Reeves III to fill in as Superintendent of Louisiana State Police (LSP).
Reeves will assume the responsibility as interim Deputy Secretary of Public Safety Services and Superintendent of Louisiana State Police on Saturday, March 25.
"With more than 26 years of service in the Louisiana State Police, Major Reeves assumes this responsibility with a wealth of knowledge and the respect from his colleagues across the state," said Gov. Edwards. "I have tremendous confidence in Kevin's ability to lead this agency. Donna and I are grateful that Major Reeves and his wife, Kristi, have accepted this responsibility, and I know the men and women of the Louisiana State Police will join me in welcoming him to this new role."
Reeves will take over the duties when Col. Mike Edmonson retires.
"I am humbled by the confidence Gov. Edwards has placed in me to lead this agency that I've been a part of since my early days as a trooper in Baton Rouge," said Major Reeves. "It is truly an honor to serve the state that I love alongside the men and women of the Louisiana State Police. It is the sacrifice of these individuals that help keep our communities safe and help respond when disaster strikes. My mission in assuming this role will be to strengthen our partnerships with federal, parish and local law enforcement, while ensuring the public has confidence in our ability to respond when necessary. Kristi and I are grateful for the opportunity Gov. Edwards has given us, and I will do my best to make the people of Louisiana, as well as my fellow troopers, proud in this new role."
Edmonson announced his retirement earlier this month amid controversy including travel and overtime spending.
Last month, FOX 8's Lee Zurik brought attention to an LSP trip to San Diego for a conference where Edmonson got a lifetime achievement award. 17 LSP employees attended the conference and cost taxpayers about $70,000. During the trip, four troopers made a detour and stopped in Las Vegas and Grand Canyon National Park. Allegedly they turned in expense reports containing what is believed to be falsified overtime hours.
Edmonson says his decision to retire is not a direct result of the trip. Governor Edwards has ordered an audit of the Louisiana State Police.
Edmonson worked with LSP for 36 years, the last nine years he served as superintendent. His last day is March 24, 2017.
Governor Edwards plans to conduct a search within the ranks of the LSP for a permanent replacement.