Chief Raymond Details Possible Cuts to SPD [VIDEO]
Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond talks to 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty about the possibility of major cuts to the SPD in the wake of the quarantine-caused economic downturn.
Raymond tells KEEL listeners that the $4 million in proposed cuts, a proposal that came from the Chief Administrative Officer Henry Whitehorn and Chief Financial Officer Sherricka Fields Jones, was a number he anticipated.
"First of all," the Chief says, "The majority of this money, a large portion of this money would have been turned back in at the end of the year, anyway. So a ot of this money that we have set aside for personnel would not have been spent."
The Chief adds that the SPD has given back nearly $1 million in unused monies over the past few years "that I'm aware of."
Raymond adds that in upcoming meetings with the City Council he will fight for every dollar for his department, but he also understands the reality of the situation and is prepared to go forward.
However, if the full $4 million is slashed from the SPD budget, Raymond details his plan and the reduced services. But he also promises no reduction in essential service, "which is patrol."
But Raymond goes on to say that some changes have already been made. "We no longer have a vice unit, as of yesterday. We may have to eliminate the misdemeanor warrants unit. We may have to look at decreases in the narcotics division and traffic division. It's going to have an effect on the department. But we're going to operate on skeleton crews...so that we can keep patrol fully staffed.