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

photo by: 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.

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.

— Tim Carpenter reports for Kansas Reflector.

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