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State Police make history with 3 minority employees in top command-level positions

3 years 6 months 1 week ago Tuesday, January 12 2021 Jan 12, 2021 January 12, 2021 6:12 AM January 12, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Promotions at Louisiana State Police made history last week, as three African-Americans are now part of the command staff. It's the first time three minority employees have been in key roles since the agency's inception in 1936.

Colonel Lamar Davis promoted Captain Chavez Cammon to Lieutenant Colonel over Patrol and Captain Kenny Van Buren to Lieutenant Colonel over investigations.

"I've had an opportunity to assess our staff and make changes that provide some leadership and unique experiences that will help to advance our agency," Colonel Lamar Davis said. "We now have three African Americans on the command staff."

The changes have been praised by multiple sources saying the two men promoted will bring a different perspective to the agency that has been rife with controversy. Colonel Lamar Davis inherited a mess from his predecessor, Kevin Reeves, when Davis took over at the end of October.

"One of the main things that I wanted to do is get the message out to our men and women that we appreciate them... Everything they do," Davis said. "But also we are here and will be accountable not only to them but to the public."

With the promotions also came a demotion. Jay D. Oliphant, who was over patrols, was transferred to another position and demoted to Major.

"He was the Lieutenant Colonel over patrol, however, he has been reassigned as an executive officer," Davis said.

Davis did not elaborate on why he made the transfer.

But, WBRZ has reported extensively on past controversies at Louisiana State Police. Oliphant was over patrol during a host of them. Those include: the beating death of Ronald Greene, the beating of an African American male that led to the arrest of Jacob Brown, the shooting of a man during a traffic stop by Trooper Kasha Domingue, and the August McKay debacle.

As the new year brings new changes, Davis said he's excited about what the future holds for all the men and women who work for Louisiana State Police. He said it starts with a vision of supporting the troopers, holding everyone accountable, and remembering to serve the community with compassion.

Davis said he doesn't foresee any more major personnel moves but is not ruling them out.

"I'm always open to making adjustments to make our agency better and advancing our agency's mission," Davis said.

Many of the controversies that Davis inherited remain under investigation. He was not able to comment on those.

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