Feud Over Police Pay in Shreveport Heats Up
The battle over more funding for police officer pay in Shreveport is getting heated.
The Shreveport Police Officers Association has put up 3 billboards in southeast Shreveport calling out Councilman Grayson Boucher over the plan being pushed by both the police and fire chiefs to boost police and fire pay by just 4%.
Councilwoman LeVette Fuller wants to boost the pay of officers by close to $4,000 per year for officers to bring the city closer to the average pay for officers in our region. Current starting pay is $34,000 a year. The goal is to get that up to $38,000. Fuller says that will help retain officers who flocking to other cities for more money and better benefits.
But the Mayor has issued a caution about this plan saying firefighters also need and deserve a pay increase. But finding the money to fund raises for both agencies is a serious concern.
The head of the Firefighters Union says city leaders have not given public safety raises in the past without also including the fire department.
The Public Safety Committee of the Shreveport Council recently approved a 4% pay raise for both police officers and firefighters. The money for the firefighter increase would come from EMS fees. The money for the police pay raise would involve eliminating some positions in the department for this raise.
Fuller's plan which is from Dr. Michael Carter, President of the police union would cut out 49 police positions and use that money to fund the higher 17% increase.
Dr. Carter says 4% is just not enough to retain officers who are leaving at a record pace. He says the department is short staffed and officers are working overtime. He says the morale is at an all time low.