SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Ben Raymond is still the top cop in the city of Shreveport, but earlier this week his job title shifted.
Raymond is now the provisional Chief of Police, following Mayor Adrian Perkins decision to change his appointment status.
Last November, former Mayor Ollie Tyler named Raymond as the city’s substitute police chief when Alan Crump left the office on administrative medical leave. Under Louisiana civil service law, that appointment was for a 30-day term.
After his election in December, Perkins renewed the substitute appointment, doing so again in January. But according to Benjamin Riggs, Director of Communications for the City of Shreveport, Mayor Perkins wants to keep Raymond as his chief, until Crump permanently vacates the position, upon his expected retirement later this year.
However, a provisional appointment only lasts for 90 days, with one 90-day extension permitted thereafter, meaning Raymond’s new appointment will expire no later than August 2019.
Neither the Mayor’s Office nor the Shreveport Police Department publicized the changed nature of Raymond’s appointment, with news of the move only coming to light after a contentious meeting of the Shreveport Civil Service Board earlier this week.
In a 4-3 decision, the board voted against a request by police Lieutenant Collette Kelly to open an investigation into the validity Raymond’s previous appointment as substitute Chief of Police dating back to November.
While Raymond’s job duties will not change, sources tell KSLA at least two parties are considering filing suit to block the new appointment, believing Raymond does not have the qualifying rank to hold the position of provisional chief under Louisiana law.
Riggs told KSLA the Mayor’s office had no comment regarding the threat of legal action, and police officials had not replied to a request for comment prior to publication.