SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shreveport’s police union will begin a public campaign to urge the city’s voters to say no to the three municipal bond proposals, the organization’s leader says.
Among other things, the propositions that voters will face Nov. 16 include funding to improve police facilities, namely $20 million to construct a central police headquarters.
In August 2018, union President Michael Carter suggested to another media outlet that a police complex could be built for about $18 million and funded through a bond issue.
However, Shreveport Police Officers Association members voted Oct. 9 against supporting any of the three bond propositions, Carter says in a statement he released Tuesday.
The union later was informed that Police Chief Ben Raymond reportedly was surveying his officers via email about the bond proposals, says Carter, a police sergeant who with Raymond recently was among four finalists for police chief.
“Now, after Mayor (Adrian) Perkins asked SPOA to take a vote of endorsement, Chief Raymond has begun a coercive tactic to rewrite the outcome.”
Raymond has emailed an electronic ballot to Police Department personnel stating that their decision will be anonymous.
Carter contends that email never is anonymous.
“Members have called their union officials and supervisors throughout the afternoon. They are concerned about their job status if they do not vote in a manner that pleases the chief of police,” Carter’s statement says.
Carter says Perkins was asked to intervene Oct. 25.
“We are asserting that this survey is not valid nor reliable,” Carter’s statement continues. “The outcome can be manipulated and our members can be exploited if they vote contrary to the chief of police. We will not recognize this vote in any anonymous form. ...”
KSLA News 12 has reached out to the police chief for comment on Carter’s statement and the claims he makes in the document.