March 21, 2017 03:11 PM

The retirement of Col. Mike Edmonson, effective Friday, reverberated throughout Louisiana’s political community last week — no matter how expected the announcement was. Now attention and speculation turns to who will become the next superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, a position that brings with it an incredible amount of political leverage.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is said to be on the hunt for an interim superintendent at the moment. Many are urging him to select an interim who will not be interested in pursuing the top job on a permanent basis, which seems to be his preference as well at the moment. In fact, there are a lot of folks whispering in the governor’s ear and he has no shortage of suggestions to review.

There are some restrictions, though, beginning with a state law that prohibits the governor from conducting an external search: Edmonson’s successor, by law, has to come from within State Police and they must be a graduate of the agency’s training academy.

Some lawmakers see an opportunity for change at State Police with no figurehead in place and a regular session scheduled to convene on April 10.

There have been informal talks about bills addressing accounting safeguards, term limits, the appointment process and more. It’s all part of the typical knee-jerk reaction in Louisiana politics, most of which fades with time, but a part of it could surface in legislative debates soon depending on the mood of lawmakers.