SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A group of Shreveport police officers says it is united in improving the quality of life for their brothers and sisters in the department.
They formed a local chapter of the International Union of Police Associations. The group has been active since December and now has about 100 members.
This makes the third organization available for Shreveport officers to join, after the Fraternal Order of Police and Shreveport Police Officers’ Association. Union representatives say none of the organizations compete with one another and offer different benefits for their memberships.
“I don’t think division caused this union to be formed, lack of progress is why this union was formed,” said Angie Willhite, Local 275 president. “We didn’t see any and we all wanted to change that, And what better way to change it than to just get up and form something that you know is gonna work and get behind it and push it forward, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Union leaders said their new group plans to take a hands-on approach to improving the morale for the officers who serve our community.
“I don’t care what organization, association, union you’re a member of, we’ve got to come together,” said Willhite. “So, as police officers we weren’t getting out there, we weren’t doing what we needed to do to make things better for ourselves, and now we’re gonna lead an organization that is going to go forward with that. We’re gonna make sure it does get done.”
Leaders said being under the umbrella of the International Union of Police Organizations offers benefits to local members who pay dues, including a voice in the state capital and education incentives.
Board members said they were elected to their positions to lead the new union and those posts are unpaid.