Col. Lamar Davis, Louisiana State Police superintendent, announces retirement

By: - November 4, 2023 9:08 pm
Col. Lamar Davis

Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis listens to a question during the April 7, 2022, meeting of a special House committee investigating the death of Ronald Greene in state troopers’ custody. (Greg LaRose | Louisiana Illuminator)

The man put in charge of Louisiana State Police once investigations were launched into the in-custody death of a Black motorist at the hands of white troopers is retiring. Col. Lamar Davis, who was named superintendent in October 2009, sent an email to the department Saturday saying that he will step down Jan. 8, the same day Gov.-elect Jeff Landry will be sworn into office.

It was Davis, 53, who ran the department as federal, state and legislative probes looked into the May 2019 death of Ronald Greene, who led police on a vehicle pursuit that ended outside Monroe. Police body camera video shows Greene being beaten, kicked and dragged on the roadside. An initial autopsy determined Greene died from injuries that occurred when his car ran into a tree, but a subsequent forensic examination threw out those results.

Col. Kevin Reeves, who was LSP superintendent at the time of Greene’s death, resigned in October 2020. Reeves was criticized for keeping the body camera video from the incident from the public and failing to discipline the troopers involved for more than a year.

A state judge has dismissed obstruction charges against two of the troopers involved in the Greene care, but three others still await trial. The include Master Trooper Kory York, who is charged with negligent homicide and malfeasance.

Greene’s death led legislators to create two special committees — a House panel that examined what Gov. John Bel Edwards knew about State Police’s handling of the incident, and a Senate group geared toward accountability measures for the agency. 

Senators briefly considered civilian oversight of Louisiana State Police, which is part of the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections. The LSP superintendent is also the department’s deputy secretary and has traditionally held a seat on the governor’s cabinet.

In his message to troopers, Davis referred to his tenure as part of “one of the tumultuous times in recent history.”    

“This resulted in extreme criticism, distrust by those we swore to serve and protect, morale issues, and multiple investigations of our agency,” Davis wrote. “Most agencies would have folded under those circumstances, given up, or retreated back to their old ways. We looked in the mirror and began to immediately make changes that will carry our agency into the future.”

Davis was the third LSP superintendent of Edwards’ administration. Before Reeves, Col. Mike Edmondson held the post from January 2008, when Bobby Jindal became governor, until his resignation in 2017 amid multiple controversies.


Davis’ message to Louisiana State Police employees, Nov. 4, 2023:  

After much prayer, consideration, and discussion with my family and friends, I have made the decision to retire from the Louisiana Department of Public Safety/Louisiana State Police, effective January 8, 2024.

I started my journey with the Department over 27 years ago, and I can genuinely say that it has been a profound honor. Throughout these years, I have been fortunate to experience opportunities I never imagined for my family or myself. I firmly believe that my path was guided by God, shaping me into the person and dedicated servant that I am today. But it was the people who sharpened me and also invested in me, which greatly contributed to me being selected to serve as your Colonel.

Over the past three years, we have experienced all four seasons. We started seeing our agency experience one of the most tumultuous times in recent history. This resulted in extreme criticism, distrust by those we swore to serve and protect, morale issues, and multiple investigations of our agency. Most agencies would have folded under those circumstances, given up, or retreated back to their old ways. We looked in the mirror and began to immediately make changes that will carry our agency into the future. Although many of the changes made were significant, the best part of going through these challenging times is that we accomplished this together. There is no more gratifying feeling than to work as a team to solve a problem, especially when that issue affects all of us. For that, I will be forever grateful.

While my career has been marked by numerous adventures and accomplishments, we have also endured tragedies that will forever remain in our hearts. It is in the face of these losses that we drew nearer to one another, discovered the profound meaning of life, and forged an unbreakable bond. We are DPS and we are a family. Nothing nor anyone can change that!

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my wife, Christa, and my son, Xavier, for their unwavering love, support, and the sacrifices they have made during the course of my career. I recognize that there were moments when work encroached on our family time. I hope you both understood the necessity of those sacrifices and know that I never lost sight of my center. You are the reason I wake up, and you are at the center of my being. I love you deeply and sincerely.

To all our former and current members of the public safety family. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude. Your tireless dedication, unwavering commitment, boundless passion, and continuous support for our agency, our communities, our State, and me have made an indelible mark upon the citizens of our State and me. I consider myself incredibly fortunate and blessed to have had the privilege of working alongside such devoted and committed individuals throughout my 27-year journey. Because of you, these years have truly been some of the most rewarding and extraordinary times of my life.

It would be a disservice if I did not express my gratitude to Governor and Mrs. Donna Edwards, as well as your entire team, for your selfless dedication to our citizens, communities, and State. Governor Edwards, you are an exceptional leader who embodies dedication, commitment, compassion, and selflessness. I am sincerely thankful for the opportunity you have given me to lead and serve our public safety family and citizens. Your support and guidance have allowed me to grow into this role and have set a remarkable example for all of us to follow. Your leadership is not only contagious but also incredibly rewarding. It has been a genuine pleasure to have served alongside you. You have changed my life forever.

Lastly, but by no means least, I extend my gratitude to the citizens of Louisiana for your support of both my team and me over the past three years. The field of Public Safety is becoming more complex and demanding. Most of the men and women of our profession know this and volunteer anyway. I ask that you not only continue to support our first responders and public safety heroes, but that you continue to work with them to ensure the safety for all. As it has been said many times over, crime is not just a law enforcement issue; it is an all-of-us issue. It will take all of us working together to reduce and mitigate criminal activity. This begins with all of us working together and prioritizing the well-being of our people in every endeavor. We have the potential to achieve remarkable feats when we work together.

While this phase of my career may be drawing to a close, I want to assure you that it is far from the final chapter in my life’s journey. I am a servant! I am also committed to discovering new avenues to serve our communities and State, albeit in a different capacity.

I am profoundly thankful for all of the great things that we have accomplished and continue to do to protect our communities and State. I thank you for being such committed servants and pray that God continues to bless and protect you and your families.


Lamar A. Davis, Colonel


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Greg LaRose
Greg LaRose

Greg LaRose has covered news for more than 30 years in Louisiana. Before coming to the Louisiana Illuminator, he was the chief investigative reporter for WDSU-TV in New Orleans. He previously led the government and politics team for The Times-Picayune |, and was editor in chief at New Orleans CityBusiness. Greg's other career stops include Tiger Rag, South Baton Rouge Journal, the Covington News Banner, Louisiana Radio Network and multiple radio stations.