Gov. John Bel Edwards Louisiana Normandy

Gov. John Bel Edwards lays a wreath on the headstone of Sergeant John P. Ray, a U.S. Army veteran from Gretna, La. He served in the 82nd Airborne Division and was killed in action on D-Day. 

(The Center Square) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' recent trip to Amsterdam, Paris and Normandy cost taxpayers $33,846 for his protective detail from the Louisiana State Police.

Edwards, the two-term Democratic governor, led a delegation of business and state leaders from Aug. 5-14. 

The public records were obtained by request from The Center Square. 

The costs for the protective detail provided by the Louisiana State Police included $11,315 for overtime, $10,156 for lodging, $7,772 for transportation, $3,564 for meals and per diem, and $1,089 for miscellaneous costs. 

In the Netherlands, the Louisiana delegation visited the River Programme’s Noordwaard polder project and the water research campus in Delft which is home to Deltares, a research group that works with the Water Institute of the Gulf on reducing flooding. The delegation also visited a world-class wave test facility, the Deltares Delta Flume project.

Edwards and the delegation also met with leaders of the Netherlands-based oil company Shell, which has a chemical plant in Geismar and an oil refinery between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Shell is converting its Convent refinery, closed in 2020, into a biofuels refining center. 

In France, the delegation visited Paris and Normandy, site of 1944's Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day. Edwards visited the battle site to raise awareness for the $400 million capital campaign for the National World War II Museum.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to learn from international leaders in flooding prevention, and to grow our economy while we’re at it," Edwards said in a news release announcing the trip. "I also look forward to furthering Louisiana’s cultural and economic ties to France.

"It will be a privilege to visit Normandy to honor those who fought in World War II and raise international awareness of the world-class WWII Museum in New Orleans."

Regional Editor

Steve Wilson has been an award-winning writer and editor for nearly 20 years at newspapers in Georgia, Florida and Mississippi and is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and University of Alabama graduate.