SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — In a letter addressed to Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, the Shreveport Police Officers Association makes it clear it does not approve of the recent addition of Provisional Police Chief Ben Raymond to the list of finalists for the police chief job.
The letter, written by Joseph Lewis, the police union’s vice president, was cc’d to Councilman Jerry Bowman.
On Wednesday, Bowman used his powers as mayor pro tem to add Raymond to the list of finalists that includes Assistant Police Chief Wayne Smith, Lt. Tedris Smith and Sgt. Michael Carter.
It should be noted that Carter is the president of the SPOA.
The Smiths and Carter were chosen by an advisory board assembled by the mayor. Bowman was one of the panel’s eight members.
Raymond was not originally selected by the advisory board.
Below is the SPOA’s letter to Perkins:
I am writing on behalf of SPOA to address our discontent with the recent addition of Ben Raymond to the finalist for Chief of Police. We have waited patiently as a union trying to be unbiased. We have 5 of the 7 applicants on our Union Roster as members. All three of the top three finalists are SPOA members.
When Mayor-pro term Bowman announced that he would add Ben Raymond to the list today, we were appalled. We respect the process that you implemented with the advisory team and we feel that if Ben Raymond had of achieved what the finalist had achieved, none of this would be happening right now. We ask that you continue forward with the original three finalists, ACP Wayne Smith, Lt. Tedris Smith and Sgt. Michael Carter.
If for some reason you have lost faith in the advisory team recommendations, then we respectfully request that you include all seven of the applicants in further interviews, not just Ben Raymond. Please accept this as a formal request on behalf of the Shreveport Police Officers Association
Raymond has been serving as the city’s provisional police chief since November 2018.
His bid to be the city’s permanent police chief also has the support of Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator.