City Council shoots down vote of no confidence in police chief

City Council shoots down vote of no confidence in police chief

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Shreveport City Council on Tuesday shot down a proposed vote of no confidence in the city's police chief.

Councilman Willie Bradford filed the resolution last week to ask Mayor Ollie Tyler to seek Alan Crump's resignation from that post.

Bradford described it as "a symbolic vote, but it's not a symbolic vote," saying the council needs to send a message that it is unhappy with Crump's performance.

Bradford acknowledged that a vote of no confidence carries no real weight outside of sending Tyler a message.

Only she can call for Crump's resignation.

The Shreveport Police Officers Association declined to comment on the council's vote.

Before the vote on Bradford's proposal, Councilman James Flurry stated that he believes the mayor is holding the police chief accountable and that she and Crump should be given the opportunity to "work on his metrics" and him becoming a better communicator.

Bradford followed by motioning to table his resolution. That effort failed on a 3-2 vote.

Council members then decided 3-2 against adopting Bradford's resolution. Of the five members present, Bradford and Flurry supported the resolution.

Councilman Jerry Bowman, who also had called for Crump's removal, was unable to attend the meeting due to medical reasons.

Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch also was not present due to medical reasons.

"I don't know why the council voted the way they did," Bradford said after the vote. "I'm going to contribute it to the fact that we are from diverse districts and the districts that are having this crime spree issue are more understanding of why we need a new direction."

Crump thanked the mayor, council and community for their support. Both he and the mayor once again called on the community to help them fight crime.

"It is not one man's job. He has a whole department behind him, and they are working diligently every day putting their lives on the line," Mayor Ollie Tyler said. "And we are gonna move forward. We are not going to belabor what happened today.

"We have a lot of strategies in place that he's put in place," the mayor continued. "Since we've put those in place, we have seen a decrease in crime in some areas. And we are going to continue that fight."

Crump said crime in the city is everyone's concern. "And so when we look that way and come together for the welfare and well-being of this city, we can accomplish a great deal."

Also Tuesday, the City Council held its first public hearing on Tyler's 2018 budget proposal.

Shreveport is looking at a budget of $491.4 million, which is almost $6 million less than last year's original budget.

The proposal includes a 5% pay increase for all employees who earn less than $75,000 a year, a move that would cost the city an additional $1.7 million a year.

For civil service employees, it's a 2% longevity increase and a 3% raise on base pay for a total increase of 5%, which will cost the city an additional $2.9 million annually.

Tyler reports that consolidating positions and similar efficiencies freed up money for the raises.

The proposed budget also calls for $1 million for 25 new police patrol units. An additional $100,000 is being requested for overtime patrols.

Fire and police employees also would get back a clothing allowance deducted since 2014. That allowance will be $400 instead of the $200 they currently receive.

The proposed budget also calls for a $1 million aerial ladder truck for the Fire Department. The city will pay $600,000 of that with the rest coming from an insurance claim.

Also under the budget, the Streets Special Revenue fund would remain intact with no dollars being transferred to the General Fund in 2018. This would provide $8.3 million in continued street repairs throughout the city.

Two residents spoke Tuesday during a public hearing about the budget proposal.

Retired Maj. Gen. James Graves asked for less appropriations for the 2018 Airport Enterprise Fund Budget.

"Public documents like this 2017 Shreveport budget available to the public reveal that between 2015 and 2017, Airport Authority total appropriations doubled, administrative salaries nearly doubled and professional salaries nearly tripled."

Graves asked council members to ensure that money stops going to administrators' salaries.

"We learned last Friday that for 2018, they now want to grow a salary of $47,000 to $81,000 and create a new position entirely, paying a hundred-and-a-half thousand dollars a year," he said.

"They are building a San Francisco-sized bureaucratic empire on the books and on the backs of a Shreveport-sized customer base."

Council members told residents gathered at the meeting that they have until their first meeting in December to make any amendments to the 2018 budget proposal.

Also Tuesday, the council postponed introduction of an ordinance to amend the city code concerning vehicles for hire, possibly another effort to lure Uber to the city.

The ordinance would modify the city's fee of 25 cents per ride to an annual collection of 1% of a ride-sharing service's gross revenue fee.

Uber representatives have not yet responded to KSLA News 12's requests for comment on this new ordinance, but the ride-sharing service Lyft has begun operating in Shreveport.

The council must have a 2018 budget approved by Dec. 15.

Copyright 2017 KSLA. All rights reserved.