SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport city council continues an ongoing discussion about an increase in pay for Shreveport fire and police.
The public safety committee heard different ways money could be received and even moved around to pay for raises within the police and fire departments.
“When it comes to police and fire, we have kicked this can, kicked this can, and kicked this can. We need to be making a decision in the next couple of months on which way we’re going to go because the bleeding is not going to stop,” said Councilman Greyson Boucher, District D.
The public safety committee is listening to ideas on ways to increase the pay for shreveport fire department and police department.
“The solution that we are looking for is to establish a competitive pay plan for fire and police. We also want to increase parametic pay,” said Chief Scott Wolverton, Shreveport Fire Department.
Chief Wolverton offered a list of solutions including a sales tax, property tax, a public safety fee, and more. And shared how across the river Bossier city firefighters are making more money.
“And our sister city across the river, the firefighters pay $5,200 more a year, then a firefighter on the Shreveport fire department. However we’re making 44,000 calls a year and they are making about 12,000, they’re making about one-fourth of what we make,” said Chief Wolverton.
Councilman Greyson Boucher says our first responders are leaving Shreveport and taking their talents elsewhere.
“We need to move sooner than later as far as getting our firefighters and police officers raises. We are losing officers at an alarming rate and we are losing firefighters at an alarming rate,” said Councilman Boucher.
Police Chief Ben Raymond says they actually had to un-fund 29 positions in their 20-21 budget, because of low recruiting numbers.
“To the problems we have staffing the police department so of that no doubt we think can be contributed to pay, as well as, some of the other concerns Chief Wolverton noted. Increase calls for services not being able to provide equipment like some other local agencies provide their officers and things,” said Chief Ben Raymond, Shreveport Police Department.
The public safety committee hopes to have a solution by the end of the year.