SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Shreveport City Council agreed the public safety officials should get pay raises on Tuesday. Council members could not, however, agree on where the money should come from or when they should be giving out those raises.
“It had been said the money would come out of this year’s budget,” District F councilman James Green said. “After this year’s budget, where will the money come from?”
He said the city simply does not have the money to be giving departments raises, even though he said he supports the cause.
“Certain things, we just do it and we just expect everybody else to fall in line” Green said. “When you don’t fall in line, it makes you look as though you’re against it. I want you to know today, chief, I’m not not against whatever amount...The only problem that I have is where do we get the money?"
District B councilwoman LeVette Fuller proposed the first public safety pay raise. The new one - proposed by District C and District D councilmen John Nickelson and Grayson Boucher - is similar to the original.
“We are looking at a piece of legislation that is about 70% of what was originally presented for police,” Fuller said.
Resolution 128 now includes the fire department and only would take money from 33 vacant police officer positions, as opposed to the 49 she originally proposed. Fuller said the fire department’s raises would come from its EMS revenue.
“They deserve to be compensated for what they do,” fire chief Scott Wolverton said. “They work really hard. they’re out there running, making a lot of calls for this city, up all night.”
Deputy chief of police, Antwoine White, agreed, saying both departments deserve raises.
“The fire department, they’re our brothers and sisters in uniform," he said. “We want to see them be compensated, as well. They’re just as deserving as the Shreveport Police Department.”
Nickelson and Boucher said they want to have a solution by the end of the year.