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Sunday, August 19, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Colonel Michael Edmonson
La State Police Superintendent, co-director of the Governor's School Safety Study Group

Colonel Michael Edmonson was appointed as the 25th Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police in January 2008 by Governor Bobby Jindal. Earlier this month, he was selected by Governor Jindal to lead a Louisiana school safety study group in light of the December 14 shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Colonel Edmonson also serves as the Deputy Secretary of Public Safety Services and is responsible for an agency of more than 2900 employees and a budget of nearly one-half billion dollars. In his role as Deputy Secretary, Edmonson oversees the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, the Office of Management and Finance, the Office of Motor Vehicles, the Office of State Fire Marshal, the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Commission. In the fall of 2012 upon the reelection of Governor Jindal, Edmonson was reappointed to the Governor’s Cabinet.

Edmonson is a career state police officer having joined the organization in 1981. He earned his Bachelor of Criminal Justice in 1980 from Louisiana State University. He also attended graduate school there and is a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and the FBI National Executive Institute.

In September of 2012, Edmonson assumed the General Chair position of the International Association of Chiefs of Police – State and Provincial Police Section which represents the U.S. State Police agencies, RCMP, Canadian Provincial Police and Puerto Rico National Police.

From 1982-2008 Edmonson served as the head of security for the LSU Football Team and provided personal security for each LSU Head Football Coach, from Jerry Stovall to Les Miles.

Mike is married to Suzanne and they have four children: Brittney, Casey, Michael, and Cade. Active in civic, church and youth programs, he makes his home in Baton Rouge.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

Recent Topics


     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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