Shreveport council members are being asked to approve a pay increase for police officers to bring the pay closer to the average in our region. The department is dealing with large numbers of officers retiring or leaving for jobs in other communities which offer better pay.

But Councilwoman LeVette Fuller's plan only deals with police pay. Firefighters have stepped up in large numbers to say they are facing the same problem keeping firefighters on the force.

Mario Villafuerte

But Fuller has only been studying all of the options for increased police pay. Councilman Grayson Boucher has been looking at ways to boost firefighter pay. The item before the council on Tuesday is a pay raise only for police officers. The increase will bring Shreveport police pay closer to what is being paid in Bossier City.

The money for this increase will come from dollars allocated to fund 49 police officer positions that have gone vacant for more than a year. This pay increase will cost the city about $3.5 million a year.

Click here to see the current pay structure.

In the following table you can see the details of what will change with this 3% increase. Click here to see that data.

This proposal would boost police pay by about $4,000 a year. But Police Chief Ben Raymond says he does not want to use the money from the vacant positions to fund this raise. He eventually wants to get to the point where he can fill those positions. He has already eliminated 29 positions to use that money for day-to-day expenses. Chief Raymond says city leaders need to seriously look at a sustainable revenue stream to bring in more money for police officers and firefighters. He thinks money should be provided for all of public safety.

In fact, he thinks the city should find a way to keep pay competitive for all city workers.

A final vote on this proposal is not expected this week until a plan to deal with pay for firefighters is also considered.