SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — The Shreveport City Council has unanimously confirmed Ben Raymond as the city’s police chief.
Mayor Adrian Perkins announced the appointment Monday.
That appointment was subject to City Council approval.
Perkins and council members heard comments from a number of the citizens Tuesday afternoon.
They then expressed their views, with Raymond at times called upon to comment.
Councilwoman LeVette Fuller reminded people that Raymond will be on probation his first 12 months on the job.
“If you don’t think I’m doing a good job in a year, I will leave,” Raymond said.
Council Chairman Jerry Bowman defended his decision to add Raymond to the list of police chief finalists.
He then called for the vote.
Councilman Willie Bradford said Monday afternoon that he wanted to meet privately with Raymond to discuss some concerns before today’s City Council meeting.
“The reason I am uncomfortable about moving forward at this time. There are some concerns that I need to speak with the nominee on,” Bradford said during the council work session.
“I don’t want to do it. I would not like to do it in this public setting. I would like to meet with him in the next day or so and talk with him about some issues I feel strongly about.”
On Tuesday, Bradford said he met with Raymond for an hour immediately before the council meeting.
Among the issues Bradford raised is the need for more diversity in the Police Department, particularly in command positions.
“I intended to ask him more questions but I will refrain from that,” the councilman said during Tuesday afternoon’s meeting.
After all the public comment, much of it against Raymond being confirmed as police chief, Councilman James Green asked Raymond:
“With all you have heard and what’s going on, how would you and who would you bring to the table to bring the department and the city together?”
Raymond, in addressing the council, said he is aware of some of the divisiveness in the community.
He also acknowledged that some people have the perception of police brutality in the African-American community.
Raymond further stated: “A number of falsities and slanderous things were said today that I hope to address in the future.”
As for staffing, he explained how civil service rules govern who is selected based upon factors including seniority and test scores.
Raymond noted that there are two appointments he can make. And when it comes to filling those, he said he would look for someone with perspectives different than his.
“I don’t need another Ben Raymond in my command staff.”