Since Bobby Jindal has been governor, the number of State Troopers available to patrol the highways has been declining. As the numbers dwindled, morale among the working Troopers has also deteriorated.
The excuse we’ve heard for the failure of the State Police to hold recruit academies is the lack of money. Perhaps if the Leges and Jindal had chosen police protection over Non-Governmental Organizations (“NGOs”) there would be money.
There is an obscure group of individuals hired by the Department of Public Safety/State Police for which there is, apparently, plenty of funding.
Mike Edmonson, Superintendent of the La. State Police, has been hiring retired State Troopers who are friends of “Dork Dynasty.” These individuals are known as the “49-5 Club” because they all start off making, in addition to their retirement benefits, $49,500 a year.
Reportedly, Edmonson say that they perform the work that would otherwise be done by working Troopers. Thus, it frees up the Troopers to patrol the highways.
What they do
The club members don’t wear uniforms; have no assigned duties or job descriptions. The job of members of the “49-5 Club” is to do whatever the members of “Dork Dynasty” want them to do. They work in the motor pool, run errands and other menial jobs within the DPS, at the LSP HQ and at regional troop HQs.
When asked for specifics, one with personal knowledge said: “You know, they get the Captain coffee and drive State Police pickup trucks to run errands for Mike.”
Though I once worked as a civilian employee at the LSP HQ, I had no clue that part of a Trooper’s job was to get the Captain coffee and run errands for anyone other than politicians and VIPs.
The salaries of some members of the “49-5 Club” are now at what a starting road Trooper makes. That’s likely one of the reasons that morale is so low among the Troopers.
The next time you see someone not wearing a uniform driving a white pickup truck with LSP/DPS markings on the doors, you will know that he/she is a member of the “49-5 Club.” Maybe they will come help you move that piece of furniture that you have been waiting on your neighbor’s truck to move.
It’s your tax dollars at work. You can’t make this stuff up!