SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins says he’ll announce his police chief appointee Monday afternoon.
A news conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. that day in the mayor’s large conference room on the second floor of Government Plaza.
An advisory panel has recommended three candidates to the mayor. They are Assistant Chief Wayne Smith, Sgt. Michael Carter, and Lt. Tedris Smith.
And this week, Councilman Jerry Bowman used his power as mayor pro-tem to add Provisional Chief Ben Raymond to the list of finalists.
Then an attorney representing the police officers’ union, the Shreveport Police Officers Association, sent a letter to Perkins.
In the missive, Pamela Breedlove described Bowman’s action as appalling.
“If there’s something wrong with the process, then you interview all seven. If there’s nothing wrong with the process, then you follow the process because that’s what you created.”
Councilman James Flurry told KSLA News 12 he’s heard nothing but good things about Raymond’s name being added to the list of finalists.
“Overwhelmingly, not one person person told me ‘Ben Raymond doesn’t need to be the chief’.”
Breedlove also took issue with so-called behind-the-scenes vote counting that reportedly shows only Raymond as the only candidate with enough council approval to be confirmed.
“The council’s job is strictly to confirm his appointments," started Breedlove.
"And if they’re going to sit there and say, ‘Oh, we’re not going to confirm anybody other than the person we think you ought to appoint,’ they are overstepping their bounds.”
These competing feelings have left Perkins in a bind with different groups.
If the mayor chooses Raymond, some will call the process unfair and the matter could end up in the courts.
If Perkins does not choose Raymond, the provisional police chief’s supporters have vowed to do much the same, not to mention avoid working with the mayor.
Other council members, like Grayson Boucher, pointed out that Raymond already has been on a 10-month job interview.
“As a city councilman, I could not have asked for a better police chief to be responsive to the needs that I have sent forth to him.”
That said, Boucher added, he has not made a final decision yet.
Multiple sources confirmed Friday that Perkins did not call in the name of his selection to the City Council’s office that afternoon.
That means it will require a unanimous vote of the City Council to add the matter to the agenda for the panel’s meeting early next week.
Even if that effort is successful, Tuesday would serve as the first reading.
A second reading would be required for final council approval.
In the announcement of Monday’s news conference, there’s no mention of whether Perkins is considering Raymond for the post.
Perkins previously has stated that he will announce his police chief selection by the time the City Council meets Sept. 24.
He must name a police chief by Sept. 29, which is 60 days since the position became vacant due to former Police Chief Alan Crump’s retirement.
KSLA News 12 obtained the applications for the police chief candidates. You can explore the applications of Raymond and the three finalists below:
During Mayor Ollie Tyler’s administration, Raymond scored the highest among the 19 applicants who took the police chief civil service exam. Interim Police Chief Alan Crump scored among the lowest.
Both were among the seven finalists Tyler chose. Ultimately, Crump was appointed to the post.