SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Jim Taliaferro says his time as a servant has prepared him for his next role as Shreveport’s mayor.
“With over 30 years law enforcement and 30 years military experience, I’ve been a servant all my life. This is another opportunity for me to be as servant again.”
He says his first move as mayor would be to look at each department’s budget, cut waste and abuse and allocate any money saved to other places.
“One of the things we have to do is be fiscally responsible Day One," Taliaferro said. "If we aren’t fiscally responsible, then we can’t build the trust of the people we are actually here to serve.”
He says Shreveport has lost it’s hunger.
Taliaferro wants to find ways bring in high-tech industries and to get Shreveport’s youths into mentor and apprenticeship programs to get them ready for the workforce.
“We are the hub of the ArkLaTex, but we don’t work together. There’s no synergy here. What we are looking for is a leader who is the tip of the sphere who says I can bring it all together to make it work.”
Taliaferro said he also has plans for Shreveport police, including raises and new equipment.
And he wants to find quality officers — like military members — who would get a sign-on bonus to come here.
"If crime is your number one issue, then I'm your guy."
He said his administration would reallocate members of the Police Department, looking at what administrative positions are not needed.
Taliaferro also would like to restart the auxiliary officer program. which takes interested civilians and lets them do things like write parking tickets and direct traffic.
Ultimately, he hopes to re-brand and rebuild the city’s image, spreading positivity about what Shreveport has to offer.
“I think one of the things we can do top down is re-brand our own attitude about where we live, where we work and where we want to raise to our kids.”
Taliaferro believes he has the experience to do it all.