Police Union Responds to Mayor’s Poll Numbers
Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond says he polled more than 330 members of his department and more than 70% support the bond proposal for police and fire.
But the President of the Shreveport Police Officers Association Michael Carter says these numbers are flawed. Pam Breedlove, the attorney for the SPOA sent KEEL a statement saying the chief is trying to "undermine and distort" the union's vote.
Here's part of that statement:
The Shreveport Police Officers Association unanimously voted at a regular meeting that it would not support the capital outlay bond proposal. After the results of this vote were made public, Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond began a campaign and actions which attempt to undermine and distort the union’s vote. SPOA has grave concerns regarding the integrity and lack of validity of the poll conducted by Chief Raymond. These concerns were raised to Mayor Perkins on October 25, 2019. Despite these concerns, the City still released the results of this poll conducted through google forms. According to the help section at google forms, it is impossible to have an anonymous survey that prevents duplicate answers. In addition to the legitimate vote taken by SPOA during its regular meeting, SPOA officers have received numerous complaints from its members regarding Chief Raymond and the City pushing this bond while doing nothing to take care of its officers finances. SPOA members have made it clear that the bond proposal is against their wishes and not in their best interest. As a union, SPOA is obligated to protect its members' interests and ensure that the citizens of Shreveport understand their concerns.
Michael Carter has said the Chief's claim that his poll is anonymous is simply not true. Breedlove also released this information from google regarding online polls and whether or not they can remain anonymous.
Carter is also highly critical of the Chief's appearance before roll calls last month. He says "Chief Raymond made the SPD Academy staff attend Roll Call at the station. This has never been required before as most police chiefs understand that the Academy Staff need to be at the Academy – particularly when there is an Academy Class going on. As part of his speeches to his captive audience, Chief Raymond advised that he intended to email a survey to SPD members to get their input on whether they support the bond proposal and if they have any issues with it. This clear intimidation tactic aimed at undermining the validity of SPOA’s vote is not going to lead to honest answers from SPD officers for fear of retaliation by the Chief". Carter continued: "Every officer knows Chief Raymond has the authority to deny their transfer requests or applications for a special unit and he can transfer them from their area or shift."