BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — After months of investigation revealed possible failures in the State Police following the death of Ronald Greene, the legislature is looking to have more oversight over the State Police Commission.
The Louisiana State Police Commission handles hiring, and firing, among a long list of other topics. Sen. Cleo Fields wants the legislature to have more oversight over who is placed on that commission. It is made up of six appointed members and an elected president. The governor selects from three people appointed by the major private universities in the state for each position.
Following the controversy around the lack of an investigation into the death of Ronald Greene in State Police custody, some lawmakers believe those members should be vetted.
“There was no investigation. We should not have had to have a panel or a special committee to investigate this issue. In my view, that’s something they should have done,” Sen. Fields, D-Baton Rouge, said.
He also said Louisiana has one of the few State Police commissions that does not go through some kind of confirmation process. He believes with a commission handling things like personnel activity and hiring there should be public transparency of who is making those decisions.
“I would say a board of this magnitude should have confirmation. We confirm Supreme Court justices. There’s no reason to not confirm the State Police and Civil Service Commission,” said Sen. Fields.
He has a separate bill that would create a Senate confirmation process for appointees to the Civil Service Commission as well.
“There was someone from the Civil Service Commission that said the reason why confirmation was not added to them years ago or when they were created was because they didn’t want the politics in it. But, to me, that doesn’t make good sense,” Sen. Fields said.
He has not spoken to the State Police about the bill but believes there is no good reason there should not be a confirmation process.
Since it is a constitutional amendment it will take a two-thirds majority vote in both houses as well as a vote of the people to be enacted, but Sen. Fields said he is confident that people will be in support of it.