Investigation into escaped trusties leads to action

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Posted: Jun 1, 2011 6:40 AM by Brittany Rivas
Updated: Jun 1, 2011 6:40 AM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: investigation, DPS, LSP, Baton Rouge, inmates, trusties

BATON ROUGE- Louisiana State Police say four Department of Public Safety employees should be disciplined and
security protocols strengthened after two trusties escaped in March. An investigation by LSP revealed that established procedures were not followed by four DPS employees.

Troopers launched internal investigations to determine how Ricky Wedgeworth and Darian Pierce fled the agency's headquarters while on work detail March 4.

State Police Lt. Doug Cain says three parallel investigations looked into whether the men were assisted in their escape and reviewed the State Police Trusty Program's policies and procedures.

Detectives say they do not suspect that Wedgeworth and Pierce had any internal or external assistance in their escape.

Officials say the following changes have been made to the State Police Trusty Program:

  • Security protocols at trusty work sites have been strengthened and standardized.
  • Access to vehicles and keys has been restricted.
  • Barrack privileges have been revised.
  • Trusty screening process has been reviewed.
  • Offender privileges have been revised.
  • Training provided to all individuals, civilian and commissioned officers who supervise trusties.
  • Proactive security assessments initiated.

Authorities say Wedgeworth and Pierce escaped in a DPS van, then they allegedly carjacked and killed David Cupps, an Ohio businessman, in Vicksburg, Miss., before being captured March 14 in Tennessee.

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