Shreveport mayor names substitute fire chief as Wolverton prepares to retire

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins on Wednesday named Chief John “J.P.” Lane to lead the Shreveport Fire Department as substitute chief as the city searches for a permanent replacement.

Lane, who currently serves as Chief of Training, has served the fire department for nearly 30 years. He will take over on an interim basis when Chief Scott Wolverton takes leave Friday ahead of his retirement in November and until a permanent chief can be selected.

Perkins said Lane will not be competing for the job, “but we have the utmost confidence that Chief Lane will lead the fire department seamlessly,” Perkins said. Lane says he plans to retire in just over two years.

Wolverton also expressed confidence in Lane, noting that they were training officers together and that he will be surrounded by a very good command staff.

Wolverton announced his retirement in September after six years as chief and more than 28 years with the department.

“I am overjoyed and filled with emotions because I get to stand before you as the second African American from the Allendale community as your fire chief,” Lane said. “You know, no one wants to be second, but what makes this alright is that the first African American that stood before you trained me over 30 years ago, so that makes it okay.”

Chief Kelvin J. Cochran was appointed as the Department’s first African American Fire Chief by Mayor Keith Hightower in 1999, where he served until his retirement from Shreveport in 2007 before becoming Fire Chief in Atlanta, Georgia.

Perkins said the civil service exam for the chief’s position will take place in January.

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