The following A Better Southwest Louisiana is part of an ongoing series of commentaries from KPLC viewers. It does not necessarily represent the views of the staff or management of KPLC and is presented as a public service.
Hi, I’m Sergeant James Anderson with Louisiana State Police.
Another phone call. Another notification to me by the desk sergeant at Troop D, “three people have died in a crash in Beauregard Parish.” As I think about that phone call, I can’t help but recall others I have received in the last five years as the troop’s public information officer and the number of fatal crashes I have responded to in my twenty years as a state trooper.
Then I think about all the notifications received from across our state by our superintendent, Colonel Mike Edmonson, these last few weeks.
These fatal crash victims are not statistics. They are not mere numbers. They were, until their untimely and tragic death, living, breathing people. The numbers are hard and cold and present a more sanitized view of motor vehicle crashes. In the last month, Louisiana State Police troopers have worked fatal crashes involving over 65 fatalities.
That’s tough to read. Each time I get a message about another fatality, it makes me think about the lives lost and the lives affected. I think about our fellow first responders who render aid, the police officers who investigate these crashes and make notification, the family and friends who are directly affected by the loss of life. I also think about what can be done.
The only solution is for us all to work together. Troopers will continue to be visible but we need your help. Make a commitment to wear your seatbelt and ensure everyone traveling with you is wearing theirs. Never drive impaired, avoid distracted driving, and always drive safely.
We are not statistics. We are people with bright futures. Please make safety a priority as we work together for a better Southwest Louisiana.
Dear KPLC viewers,
This message is very timely, as KPLC is close to launching a new neighborhood-based social media app and on-air programming designed to encourage SWLA residents to form neighborhood associations in cooperation with local law enforcement. We are beta-testing it right now, and I invite you to log on and help us get it ready for "hard launch." http://www.swlaconnected.com
Please send your feedback to me at email@example.com. Thanks everyone!
Jim Serra, chairman, KPLC Editorial Board