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Riser named legislator of the year

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana State Troopers Association named Sen. Neil Riser (R-Columbia) its Legislator of the Year last month after he secured nearly $25 million for the State Police Training Academy.

Riser said he was honored to receive the award, but said improving public safety is more important.

“It’s truly an honor,” he said. “But the reason I received the award is because of an amendment that provided a funding mechanism for a state police academy.”

The Louisiana State Police Academy trains new officers to be state policemen.

House Bill 629, sponsored by Rep. Chris Broadwater (R-Hammond), created a state debt recovery office. It was amended to include a transfer of $5 million annually to the Louisiana State Police to fund a state police academy during the Louisiana Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs.

As the chairman of the committee, Riser said he played a role in implementing the amendment.

Riser said he supported the amendment because of a shortage of state policemen.

“We are getting at the point where troopers are retiring and new troopers aren’t coming in because there hasn’t been a state police academy since 2009,” Riser said. “When you take troopers off of the road, the amount of work they do on duty becomes broader, and they just can’t do as much.”

Riser isn’t the only local Louisiana legislator to receive the award. The Louisiana State Troopers Association also named Rep. Andy Anders (D-Vidalia) legislator of the year in 2012.

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