Mayor Perkins, city officials address public safety & possible solutions for police pay raises

Mayor to hold news conference after
(Source: Gray TV)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 10:30 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 3:55 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A member of the Shreveport City Council has called a meeting of the Public Safety Committee following a particularly violent week of crime in the city.

The councilman who called the meeting is the same person who recently posted on Facebook listing a number of concrete steps he wants to see the city take in an effort to combat crime. Councilman Gray Boucher has called the committee meeting for Friday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. On the agenda are the following topics:

  • Juvenile curfew
  • Police and fire pay
  • Police and fire equipment
  • Overall city crime
  • Intergovernmental Public Safety Committee

“Case in point, Saturday night, while many of us were enjoying a nice holiday weekend watching college football the youngest of Shreveport decided to have a rolling shootout along one of the most populated roads in the city. The end result another dead teenager and a traumatic night for so many innocent bystanders,” said Councilman Grayson Boucher in a Facebook post made Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Shreveport does currently have a juvenile curfew law on the books. Councilman Boucher is proposing a new curfew that would be more strictly enforced.

After the meeting, Mayor Adrian Perkins, Substitute Police Chief Wayne Smith, and Council Chairman James Flurry held a public safety news conference.

Perkins opened his discussion by mentioning the six children that have been lost to violence in 2021 alone.

“This press conference is not about a particular person, a particular victim or a particular incident. This press conference is about what we’re doing as a collective to make the city safer and how we are going to get there. Public safety impacts each and every one of our lives. Right now with our young people being cut down far too early, gunshots ringing out in the middle of days, our citizens are being terrorized. They don’t feel safe. They are scared to go outside,” he said.

Perkins said discussions are still being had to add pay raises for police officers to the next budget. Several sources have told KSLA that the funds could potentially come from cutting vacant positions at the Shreveport Police Department.

The city has money allocated to pay 580 officers, but the department is currently 123 people short.

While he wouldn’t say how many open positions could potentially be cut, Perkins touched on shifting money for the pay raises.

“It is an option that’s on the table to take X amount of positions, use that funding to increase pay until we get those levels to where they need to be. You have my word that if we hit a number lower than 580, because we remove those positions, we will add those positions back the next day and continue to aggressively recruit,” he said.

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