SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Just when you thought all the controversy had faded from the hiring of Shreveport’s next police chief, yet another arises.
It was Friday when news leaked that the advisory board hand-picked by Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins had selected three finalists.
That immediately created some controversy because of who's name didn't make the list: Ben Raymond.
He’s been the provisional police chief for the past 10 months.
The finalists include Assistant Police Chief Wayne Smith, Lt. Tedris Smith and Sgt. Michael Carter.
“I could not believe it. I was just shocked,” Councilman James Flurry said, adding that all three finalists are good men.
But the absence of Raymond’s name from that list is drawing much attention.
“You had a man doing the job for a year," Flurry explained. "You had a man that made the highest score twice, and didn’t even consider him.”
Councilman Willie Bradford said the advisers’ exclusion of Raymond feels like a potential red flag.
That mayoral advisory board was heavy on law enforcement, lawyers, government leaders and the like. Noticeably absent were members of the public.
“Where’s the citizens, the homeowners association people represented?" Bradford said. "That’s who you’re trying to sell this Police Department to. Not a one was one there.”
Flurry and Bradford both concede that the mayor can appoint any one of the three finalists.
But they caution that not a single one of them has the four council votes needed to become Shreveport’s next police chief — at least, not yet.
So this fight could be far from over.
The only hard deadline is the mayor must make his selection by no later than Sept. 29.