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Louisiana State Police Col. Kevin Reeves speaks during a press conference to discuss a recent multi-agency violent offender roundup, Thursday, February 22, 2018, at Baton Rouge Police Headquarters in Baton Rouge, La.

While the Louisiana State Police works diligently to move the department forward, The Advocate seems intent on living in the past. A cursory search of The Advocate website reveals more than 50 articles, columns and editorials referencing and re-referencing one incident which occurred over 20 months ago. In the process, our department has been described as scandalous and referenced as having a damaged reputation. On behalf of the more than 1,000 dedicated state troopers who courageously serve the residents, visitors and businesses of our state every day, I believe that the troopers deserve better.

We don’t dispute the fact that initial reporting of an incident is important. Nor do we disagree that updating issues specifically related to an incident might be important. But repeatedly referencing an incident in day-to-day stories where there is otherwise no relationship between the issues does an injustice to an agency attempting to move on and focus on the future. The Advocate makes a difficult job all the more difficult.

The truth of the matter is that the conduct of a few should never cast a cloud over the rest. The troopers that I work with every day are truly committed to public service and are guided by the core values of the Louisiana State Police. They strive for professionalism in everything that they do. Similar to any agency, business or entity, we are not perfect; however, we make great efforts to police our own and hold those accountable who deviate from our expected standards.

So where do we stand in meeting the standards? In 2017, Troopers patrolled more than 13 million miles, made more than 22,000 arrests, recovered more than 300 stolen vehicles, worked almost 40,000 crashes, issued more than 200,000 hazardous citations and made more than 145,000 public assists. The department during 2017 also bestowed eight awards for life-saving, two medals of valor and one service injury award. This accounts for hundreds of thousands of public contacts throughout 2017. Conversely, during the same time period, the department identified 20 incidents in which a trooper was disciplined for policy violations.

I am humbled and proud to serve with the troopers who do the boots-on-the-ground work each and every day and night. Our success is also dependent on the noncommissioned staff who support those efforts. I am certain that 99.9 percent of the time, we get it right. It is important that they know they have my unwavering support. And I believe the general public feels the same. I am proud of our Louisiana State Police history, and I am excited about our future. We are moving forward, and it's time The Advocate does the same.

Col. Kevin W. Reeves

superintendent, Louisiana State Police

Baton Rouge

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