Shreveport Councilman Defends Police Chief
Shreveport residents are looking to city leaders for answers to the recent wave of violent crime which has left more than 30 people murdered so far this year.
Police Chief Ben Raymond has been under fire this week with Councilman Jerry Bowman saying "I'm tired of tiptoeing around this, we need to see a plan from the police chief." And Councilwoman LeVette Fuller telling KEEL News she also wants to see a plan, but she added "If he (Raymond) was Alan Crump, he would be gone by now".
But Councilman John Nickelson has stepped up to support Chief Raymond. He posted on social media a lengthy message about what is happening in Shreveport.
The wave of deadly gun violence washing over some parts of our community has many short-term and long-term causes, but the job performance of Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond is not one of those causes. Chief Raymond has served Shreveport faithfully and tirelessly for more than two decades. His service has included lengthy assignments to the department’s street-level interdiction unit and its special response team. During those assignments he repeatedly risked his life to apprehend drug traffickers, robbers, rapists, murderers, and other violent offenders.
Nickelson says all leaders need to step up and do what is necessary to address the violence crime problem.
Chief Raymond worked his way up to the position of police chief, and he has done an exemplary job leading his officers with constrained resources under difficult circumstances. Since I was elected in 2018, he has asked the Council repeatedly to give him and his command staff the tools they need to keep our city safe, including a new police station and competitive compensation for our police officers. We have failed to give Chief Raymond those tools, and that is our fault. Instead of scapegoating a man who has devoted his life to serving Shreveport, we need to look in the mirror and recognize that the buck stops with us. I hope we can.
Chief Raymond tells KTBS he has already submitted a plan to the Mayor and the Council.
I will be happy to share my plan with council members again. I thought I had discussed our departmental focus on taking guns out of the hands of those who illegally possess them, working with the Caddo DA and U.S. Attorney’s office to ensure successful prosecution of violent firearm’s offenders, implementing the Emergency Supplemental Patrol Unit to keep an adequate number of officers on our streets so we can serve & protect citizens as well as providing back-up to our brothers and sisters, and implementing a gun crime investigations unit (VCAT). I will reach out to the Council and offer a more thorough overview of the multi-faceted approach to decrease violent crime.