Gov. Kelly temporarily assigns state troopers to assist with Louisiana’s hurricane recovery

Sixteen KHP personnel to serve 16-day deployments to assist with Ida response

By: - September 23, 2021 11:45 am
Patrol to assist with law enforcement work in areas of Louisiana recovering from Hurricane Ida. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly authorized the temporary deployment of 16 troopers of the Kansas Highway Patrol to assist with law enforcement work in areas of Louisiana recovering from Hurricane Ida. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly granted a request Thursday for Kansas Highway Patrol troopers to be temporarily deployed to Louisiana in support of law enforcement officers in areas affected by Hurricane Ida.

Kelly, a Democrat seeking re-election in 2022, said 16 mobile field force troopers would serve a 16-day deployment starting Saturday to augment resources of the Louisiana State Police.

“In times of crisis, Kansans have always stepped up to help out our fellow Americans, and today is no different,” Kelly said. “We stand ready to provide relief for the impacted families.”

The assignment of KHP troopers was accomplished through the state’s participation in the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. It’s a multistate agreement allowing states to provide government aid in times of crisis.

In this instance, KHP superintendent Col. Herman Jones said the mission would be to support Louisiana State Police with standard law enforcement responsibilities. Louisiana officials requested assistance in the context of dealing with Hurricane Ida, Jones said.

“The KHP recognizes the need to provide support and assistance to our partnering agencies, especially when nature strikes and our services are requested,” Jones said.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who is a GOP candidate for governor, and House Speaker Ron Ryckman and Senate President Ty Masterson sent a letter Tuesday to Kelly requesting she rely on the emergency compact to send public safety personnel to Texas and Arizona in support of state and federal efforts at the border.

“As the state’s chief law enforcement official and leaders of the Kansas Legislature, we do not think this situation is a ‘political game,’” the letter to Kelly said.

The three GOP politicians’ appeal mirrored a June request from the Kansas congressional delegation that proposed Kelly offer assistance at the southern border.

In the letter to Kelly, the attorney general and legislators said their plea for insertion of Kansas law enforcement officers was necessary because the federal government failed to control the border. People illegally crossing into the United States could come to Kansas and do “harm in our communities and to our citizens,” the three Republicans said.

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.