BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — An audit released Thursday compares Louisiana State Police to similar agencies in nine other southern states.
States that were compared in the audit: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.
Findings report similarities Louisiana State Police has with other states, such as how the agency is located within the Department of Public Safety and extensive law enforcement backgrounds in agency heads.
However, there are differences between Louisiana’s agency and other states. One difference, according to the audit, is that Louisiana State Police is the only agency with a gaming enforcement unit. In another difference, Louisiana State Police offers the highest benefit accrual rate.
When comparing budgets in state agencies, the audit shows that Louisiana State Police had the second-largest one in 2022 totaling $330.7 million. The audit reported the state with the highest budget was Texas Highway Patrol with $409 million.
In recent years, Louisiana State Police has made headlines in misconduct or use of force allegations. The audit found that Louisiana State Police investigated 167 complaints containing 366 allegations between the years 2019 and 2021. Of those complaints, 94% were investigated internally.
Auditors said Louisiana’s agency investigates complaints through internal affairs units while other states — Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina — investigate officers’ misconduct or violations through external commissions or boards.
The audit compared record retention periods, in which auditors said there are no standards or best practices on the length of time records should be kept or guidelines on retention for state-issued or private cell phones.
To view the audit, click here.