Mayor Perkins announces Shreveport police chief to resign from position
Council asking mayor to appoint new police chief
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - At a public safety meeting held on Thursday, Aug. 26, Mayor Adrian Perkins announced that he had asked Police Chief Ben Raymond to resign.
Perkins said he asked Raymond step down as Chief of the Shreveport Police Department on June 2 and the process went into motion then.
The mayor granted Raymond time to finish critical law enforcement training within the department and prepare for the transition.
Raymond will be on leave from the end of August and into November. After that leave he will return to SPD as a sergeant.
Perkins thanked Raymond for his decades of service to the city.
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“Ultimately we needed to make a change. That is my responsibility as the mayor of Shreveport and that’s the reason why I asked chief to step down,” said Perkins.
It was announced that SPD Asst. to Chief of Police Wayne Smith will fill in as the substitute appointment for the position.
“Thank you Chief Ben Raymond for your years of dedicated service and leadership. I’m proud to serve with you. To the city council members and all those who are in elected positions, I pray for your support and confidence as we move forward to serve and protect our community against the evils of lawlessness,” said Smith.
This announcement comes hours after two members of the council expressed a “vote of no confidence” in Raymond. Councilmembers Jerry Bowman and LeVette Fuller requested that Perkins take steps to appoint a new chief of police.
The resolution, released Thursday said “the Shreveport City Council has the upmost (sic) respect and support for our police department and its officers and believes that public safety is the number one responsibility of the City of Shreveport.”
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The resolution goes on to say “the police department has been crippled with being understaffed and unable to fill vacant positions, there are currently over 100 vacant positions, putting an even greater strain on current officers.”
The councilmembers asked for Mayor Perkins to seek Raymond’s resignation and search for a new chief who can “lead the police department and make Shreveport citizens to feel safe again.”
During the public safety meeting , Raymond responded to the resolution.
“Violent crime has become a national crisis. Unfortunately, law enforcement as a whole, and law enforcement leaders in particular, have been blamed for these problems,” said Raymond. “Recently legislation was introduced calling for a ‘Vote of No Confidence’ in my leadership. To blame me as chief of police for the violent offenders roaming our streets is ludicrous. We do not blame the fire chief for businesses or houses which burn to the ground, not even in those horrific incidences in which lives are lost... yet the response from elected representatives is to blame those who are working tirelessly to prevent violent crime in our city.”
Chief Raymond said before that he would step aside if the public did not think he was doing a good job.
During a Sept. 24, 2019 council meeting, Raymond said, “I hold people accountable for their actions, and I want you to hold me accountable for my actions. If you don’t think I’ve done a good job in a year, I will leave. Thank you.”
On Friday afternoon, the Shreveport Police Department posted on Facebook thanking Chief Raymond for his service.
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