BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Four current or former Louisiana State Police troopers were arrested Monday on charges stemming from an investigation of a program that pays overtime for extra police patrols.
State Police detectives made the arrests after a monthslong internal investigation of the agency’s participation in the Local Agency Compensated Enforcement (LACE) program, a State Police news release said.
Current trooper Daryl Thomas and former trooper Byron Sims were arrested on charges of felony theft and filing false public records. Investigators filed those charges in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Last year, WVUE-TV in New Orleans used surveillance video to show that Thomas and Sims billed the ticket-writing program for hours they didn’t work.
A second current trooper, Wayne Taylor, and former trooper Jimmy Rogers were arrested on charges of malfeasance in office and injuring public records. The charges against Rogers were filed in Calcasieu Parish; the charges against Taylor were filed in Rapides Parish.
Col. Kevin Reeves, head of the State Police, said the “actions of a few should not be a reflection on the agency as a whole.”
“This is an extremely disappointing day for our agency; however, we must hold ourselves accountable before we can be expected to hold the public accountable,” Reeves said in a statement.
Thomas is a 23-year-old veteran of the State Police; Taylor has more than 11 years of service with the agency. Their employment status “is pending the administrative process,” the State Police news release says.
Local district attorneys pay for the overtime that troopers earn through the LACE program, outside their regular patrol shifts.
The program was suspended statewide while the State Police investigated, but was reinstated in February.
Lt. J.B. Slaton, a spokesman for the State Police, said in a text message that he doesn’t know the names of any attorneys representing the arrested troopers.