Your Turn: A Message from Col. Mike Edmonson

Your Turn: Col. Mike Edmonson with Louisiana State Police

Another phone call in the middle of the night. Another notification by my team, "Colonel, we have a crash; 4 people are dead." You know, as I think about that phone call, I can't help but recall the others I've received or made over my seven years as Superintendent and 34 years as a Louisiana State Trooper.

I can't help but reflect on the last few weeks as we are in the midst of the holiday season. And I'm reminded that 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 they 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 the first responders who render aid, the police officers who investigate and make notification, the family and friends who are directly affected by the loss of life. And I think about what more we can do.

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, never drive impaired, avoid distracted driving and always drive safe. We are not statistics. We are people with bright futures. Make safety a priority.