Shreveport Council Vice Chair LeVette Fuller is proposing a plan to increase pay for police officers, but some want to know where the money will come from since the city is facing a serious budget shortfall.

Mario Villafuerte

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.

So where does the money come from? Fuller says SPD currently has nearly 100 vacancies and we could use the money in the budget for those positions to pay for the pay raise. Fuller says we can make do with fewer officers since our population continues to decline.

But there is another red flag with this plan. Shreveport Firefighters also want to see increased pay. The head of the Firefighters Union says city leaders have not given public safety raises in the past without including the fire department. But finding the money to handle both police and fire is a serious concern.

Mayor Perkins did issue a caution to council members during the Tuesday meeting waving concerns about budget troubles the city is facing.

A final vote on this plan is not expected until the August 25th meeting. A public safety meeting is planned for next week to talk about other ways to address public safety pay.