City council approves 4% pay raise for Shreveport police, firefighters


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Shreveport City Council on Tuesday approved four-percent pay raises for the city’s civil service personnel in the police and fire departments.

The boost in pay comes after weeks of heated debate and ongoing concerns about crime in the city. Before the vote, Shreveport Police Chief Ben Chief Raymond told the council that the latest round of violence has pushed the number of homicides to 73 and that the department is about 98 officers short.

Raymond also told the council that officers believe the four-percent raise is just not enough, but that they are appreciative of it.

It is an issue the head of the Shreveport Police Officer’s Association has also raised, citing low morale in addition to low pay as the reason many are quitting.  He also said the pay raise ultimately approved Tuesday is still $2,200 less than their counterparts in Bossier City.

“They want to call it a pay raise, but that equals $1,360 a year,” Michael Carter said. “You think we are going to retain police officers on 28 dollars and 20 cents a week? It’s not going to happen.”

The approved resolution notes that “the revised pay schedule is a starting point to make these departments competitive regionally in regards to compensation,” as the Shreveport Police Department and the Shreveport Fire Department have been losing personnel due in part to the salaries within those departments being lower than other jurisdictions within the region.

The raise for civil service personnel in the police department will cost $1,649,435 and the firefighter raises will cost $1,439,365. Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins says cutting vacant positions within the police department and using money from the city’s operating reserves will cover the costs for that department, calling efforts to find the funding a team effort between his administration and the council.

Estimated EMS collection revenues are listed in the proposal as the source of funding for the firefighter raises.

The new pay scale will become effective January 1, 2021.

To see how the pay rates will change, view the 2021 police pay raise proposal and the 2021 firefighter pay raise proposal.

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