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BATON ROUGE, La. -- It's been five years since Louisiana State Police held an academy. But Wednesday night, there's word that reinforcements are on the way.

Fifty new recruits will finally start their training in January.

When the last class graduated in 2009, the department had about 1150 troopers. Now, they're down to 923.

Col. Mike Edmonson said he prefers to be around 1,000, and this upcoming class will put them close to that number and restore proper staffing to crucial departments.

'There's a lot of things out there that need to be tended to, and by having additional manpower within state police, it's going to allow us to do those things,' he said. 'It's going to allow us to be more effective on the drug problems within the state, allow us to be more effective when we respond to emergencies that happen.'

The Louisiana State Police Academy begins on Jan. 12 and is expected to wrap up next summer.

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