Louisiana State Police Hires the Bowman Group for Third Party Assessment

Credit: “Lousiana State Police – State Trooper” by TDelCoro is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety (DPS) has agreed to spend nearly $1.5 million to hire The Bowman Group to perform an independent external review and assessment of Louisiana State Police (LSP) policies, procedures, practices, training, and culture amid scrutiny over trooper beatings of Black motorists following several high-profile cases. In a press release, DPS said that it has spent the last 17 months conducting its own assessment of the organization, and that “the department remains committed to transformation at every level.” Any recommendations and insights provided by the group will be shared with DPS and LSP personnel and the public.

The Bowman Group is led by Dr. Theron Bowman and is internationally recognized for its track record in analyzing and improving police practices. The current contract is for services conducted through May 2023 and during which time the group will conduct a comprehensive top-to-bottom assessment of the Louisiana State Police organization, including:

· Community Policing/Engagement and Civilian Complaints
· Assessment of Agency’s Use of Force Policies, Procedures, and Protocols
· Crisis Intervention (De-Escalation)
· Fair and Impartial Policing Practices (Stops, Searches, Arrests)
· Organizational Culture, Leadership, and Professional Development
· Recruitment, Hiring, Promotion, and Retention
· Officer Wellness and Employee Assistance and Early Intervention Systems
· Training and Academy Operations
· Technology, Data Collection, and Resources

“Since accepting the position of Louisiana State Police Superintendent, I have vowed to regain the trust of our citizens, our law enforcement partners, our political leaders, and the men and women of our agency,” stated Colonel Lamar Davis, Louisiana State Police Superintendent. “Through this collaboration, we continue our commitment to the reform process as we work to build trust within our communities.”

In October of 2021 a Louisiana Senate advisory panel launched an investigation into numerous complaints that LSP consistently used excessive force against Black men. That panel’s recommendations are due to the full Louisiana Senate by October of this year. In addition, federal investigators are also reviewing LSP following the fatal beating of Ronald Greene.

Previously, an Associated Press released an investigative report into the department that found a culture of “impunity, nepotism, and in some cases outright racism.” That report found that 57 percent of troopers’ use of force in recent years targeted Black individuals, and identified at least a dozen cases where troopers and superiors “ignored or concealed evidence of beatings, deflected blame, and impeded efforts to root out misconduct.”

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