Debate continues over pay raises for Shreveport police and firefighters

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Shreveport City Council Public Safety Committee voted Thursday to approve a four-percent pay increase for fire and police, but not before Shreveport Police Officer’s Association President Michael Carter released a letter calling out Councilman Grayson Boucher on holding up the pay raise for the city’s police officers.

“Councilwoman LeVette Fuller has brought forward a pay proposal and made a resolution. Grayson Boucher is attempting to ignore that,” Carter said.

Boucher responded to Carter and said he values both police and fire.

“I know the sacrifices that our police and firefighters make on a daily basis. I would never do anything to hurt the police and fire department,” said Boucher.

According to Carter’s letter, SPD is down 88 officers. The average pay is around $34,000 and the regional average is $62,000. In an effort to retain more officers, Chief Ben Raymond would like to implement a pay raise plan for officers. With the proposed four-percent increase, Raymond says some of the unfilled positions will remain unfilled just to meet the 2021 budget.

“If we defund an additional 33 positions, our police department will be at 518. I don’t think we can maintain that,” said Raymond.

Boucher says the city council may consider a quarter-cent sales tax increase to generate more revenue for first responders. The four-percent approval will be discussed at the next city council meeting in October.

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