Chief: “New Revenue Stream Needed to Fund Police Pay”
The proposed pay raise for Shreveport police officers is before the city council in 2 weeks. The plan, proposed by Councilwoman LeVette Fuller would boost pay by $4,000 a year. The money would come from eliminating about 50 positions in the department that have gone unfilled for a couple of years.
But there are some concerns about that proposal. Chief Ben Raymond tells KEEL News he already had to eliminate 29 positions in his department to meet the budget for this current year and he does not want to eliminate any more unfilled spots. He says his goal is to build the numbers back up over the next few years. Chief Raymond says the ultimate answer is to find a revenue stream that could be used to fund a police pay increase. But he did not give a specific idea on what kind of tax he would propose. He would like to see city leaders get together and put a plan in place to address police pay.
In part 2 of our interview with the chief, we asking him about the staffing numbers and how many officers are actually out on patrol fighting crime. We also talked about the number of officers on leave and the number of officers dealing with COVID-19.