Councilman Reacts to Proposed Cuts to SPD
Shreveport leaders are beginning to look at ways to trim the budget without laying anyone off. Chief Financial Officer Sherricka Fields Jones and Chief Administrative Officer Henry Whitehorn have put together a list of possible cuts and now it's up to the city council to consider these cost cutting measures.
The audit and finance committee met to discuss the proposals and several council members raised concerns about drastic cuts to the police department. Committee Chairman John Nickelson says public safety must be a top priority and these cuts would definitely impact service to the public. He wants to look at all other alternatives before making major changes in the police department. Nickelson says "I don't understand how we could cut $4.5 million dollars from the police department budget and not impact public safety." He says he believe Chief Raymond would like to find a way to pare back some of the cuts to his department.
The overall proposal of cuts would trim more than $19 million from the city’s budget to offset losses of sales tax revenues during this medical crisis. The city anticipates loses as much as $25 million in sales tax revenues as a result of COVID-19 and the impact on the economy.
All departments would face cuts. The Water and Sewer Department would face $2.5 million in cuts Many of the cuts in all departments would be the elimination of unfilled positions.