Battle lines drawn over crime as mayoral race takes shape
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler, as expected, announced her bid for a second term Tuesday evening.
"If it is God's will, I will continue the work we've begun to make us all Shreveport proud."
She cited a long list of accomplishments to supporters Tuesday evening, including ongoing street repairs and other infrastructure improvements, a new aquarium and intermodal facility and more.
And Tyler promised that putting resources toward public safety is a top priority.
"I've been accused of ducking the police situation and the uptick in crime. We don't duck. We strategize and we try to figure it out.
"Crime goes up and down in every city in America."
Tyler encouraged supporters to visit the city website to view her yearly progress reports.
She faces challenges from a handful of mayoral hopefuls who have announced their candidacies:
Lee Savage says he's worked in management most of his life. He wants to root out corruption, clean up litter and fix streets. Savage cited crime as the city's biggest concern, saying he wants to replace Police Chief Alan Crump, create task force teams to root out drugs and gangs and more.
"I hear this all the time: Look at our numbers. Our numbers are down. And yet nobody feels safe. Look at the other night, the shooting at Stoner Hill Park. It's just not acceptable."
Jim Taliaferro, former director of Shreveport-Caddo Crime Stoppers, says with his experience he's the "crime candidate." Taliaferro spent his life in public service in the military and on the Shreveport police force.
"I would like to instill a sense of support to the Police Department. Give them them the technology and resources to do their job a little bit better."
Taliaferro says the city also needs more economic development so people stop considering Bossier City the better of the sister cities.
Ray Smith also is a combat veteran and sheriff's deputy. He is studying to take the bar exam and says he is not connected to any political party.
Smith tells KSLA News 12 via e-mail that he wants to reinstill a sense of identity in Shreveport and wants to reduce violent crime by doing things like dividing the city into districts, each with a police substation.
Adrian Perkins was among the first to announce a mayoral bid this year. He too is a military veteran as well as a graduate of West Point and Harvard Law School. His campaign website cites a plan for a safer Shreveport by identifying at-risk youths, building an economic stimulation plan and listening to officers to develop tailored policing methods. His website also lists plans to improve infrastructure and bring jobs to the city.
Tremecius Dixon held a campaign announcement Tuesday night as well just down the street from Tyler's announcement event. Dixon wants to go into communities block by block to clean up crime, but says jobs are his number one priority.
"Crime and jobs link together. We gotta have jobs."
The official qualifying of candidates for the mayoral race will be conducted July 18-20.
The dates for early voting in person are Oct. 23-30.
And the election will be held Nov. 6 with a runoff, if needed, set for Dec. 8.
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