Shreveport police leaders are still working long hours to find enough police officers to patrol our city. Chief Wayne Smith says he is reaching out to other communities and other states to bring in more officers.

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The Chief tells KEEL News he is still about 114 officers short and he wants to close the gap. He is set to present a plan to the mayor to let him begin to recruit young men and women at age 20 and begin the training process. But he says state law and civil service law prevents him from swearing in those trainees until they are 21. But this plan would give him a head start on getting younger officers on the force.

Chief Smith also talked to us about his recent visit to Longview, Texas where they are currently in the process of building a new police headquarters building. The price tag for that facility is $33 million. Shreveport voters recently approved $27 million dollars for a new police headquarters here. Chief Smith says he wanted to see the process in Longview from the planning to the construction process. He learned it's a good idea to start securing all of the land you will need and the supplies you will need to build the facility. The Chief says his plan is to use the existing site, so there will not be much land needed. He does say we might need some properties for additional parking and he wants to move on that as soon as possible.

Chief Smith tells us he hopes to get the process moving forward next year. He says it will probably take 2 years to build the new complex. He did see a central foyer area in the new Longview station that he would like to include in the Shreveport police station. The Chief does have someone on his team that will act as project manager to work in the design and construction phase along with whoever is chosen as the contractor.

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