City council member plans for police pay raise

By Fred Childers - email | bio

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -  "The main concern here is not recruiting, the main concern is the retention," City Council Member, Bryan Wooley told other council members Tuesday night. Wooley also said to keep police officers from leaving Shreveport for other cities, they have to pay more. "We have to look at this as a business, we have to competitive," said Wooley.  And he has devised a plan to do just that. Wooley is offering a significant raise. "We're talking 4,000 to 4200 dollar increase in pay." Wooley tells news 12. A beginning officer starts out at 33,000 dollars a year, under Wooley's plan they'd get 37. Wooley would pay for it by using the difference in the amount of dollars the state mandates the city put into police retirement fund, it was 13.75 percent, now it's 9.5 percent. Wooley says that saves the city 1.1 million dollars. "If we take that 1.1 million we're used to paying from the retirement fund just put it into pay roll," says Wooley.
    Everyone agrees the hike is needed, however the difference in dollars from retirement funds appears to be guarded by the administration. "When you factor in the increase in fuel expense that year," says Mayor Cedric Glover. With the cost of fuel on the rise, Mayor Glover offers temperance to the newly formed plan. "Do we use a raise using that money available in this year's budget , but not in the following year's budget?" Glover asks city council members.
     Wooley wants the council to act on the pay raise soon, saying the shortage of officers is becoming a public safety crisis.