SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport City Councilman Jerry Bowman, in his role as Mayor Pro tem, is including Ben Raymond in the selection of Shreveport Chief of Police.
In a statement released this morning, Bowman says he’s been contacted numerous citizens and Shreveport Police offices, that have expressed serious concerns that Raymond was not among those recommended by Mayor Perkins’ advisory committee for the permanent position.
Bowman says it would be imprudent to exclude Raymond for the permanent position.
Earlier this week Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator, a member of that advisory committee, also asked Mayor Perkins to include Raymond in the list of finalists for the permanent position.
Mayor Perkins confirmed this week he’s already interviewed the three candidates selected by the committee: Sgt. Michael Carter, Lt. Tedris Smith, and Assistant Police Chief Wayne Smith.
“While I am disappointed that the committee’s recommendation went public before I had an opportunity to deliberate, I appreciate their willingness to serve,” Perkins said.
While the mayor did not specify whether he will be interviewing anyone else in addition to the three candidates recommended by the committee, he did say in his statement Tuesday afternoon that he “will continue to contemplate” his options. Perkins also went on to say that “I have heard the concerns of Shreveport citizens and City Councilmembers. These concerns will factor into my final decision.”
Raymond has served as provisional Chief of Police for the last 10 months after former Shreveport Police Chief Alan Crump took a leave of absence.
Here is the full statement posted by Councilman Jerry Bowman:
The selection of the person who will lead the Shreveport Police Department is very serious and this is and has been my top priority, I’m confident that Mayor Perkins will keep his pledge of selecting someone who is committed to community-oriented policing as well as someone with integrity, someone whose qualities mirror the needs of our community as a whole and at the end of the day, someone who will commit to work on bridging the gap between the narrative of “2 Shreveport’s”.
Substitute Chief Ben Raymond has served in the capacity as Shreveport Chief of Police for the past 10 months.
He has garnered the support from a majority of the members of the Shreveport City Council.
He has achieved the highest scores on the Chief of Police examination twice.
I have been contacted by numerous citizens who have expressed serious concerns about the selection committee’s exclusion of Chief Raymond as a potential candidate for the permanent position of Chief of Police.
I have likewise been contacted by several officers of the Shreveport Police Department who have expressed the same concern.
In my opinion, based upon all of these factors and concerns, it would be imprudent to exclude Chief Raymond as a candidate for the permanent position of Chief of Police for the City of Shreveport.
I wholeheartedly believe and agree that this selection is that of the mayor and not a political fight but a fight for public safety.
Therefore, in order to assure the continuity in this fight for public safety, as Mayor Pro tem, I am including Chief Raymond as a candidate for the permanent position of Chief of Police for the City of Shreveport.
Councilman Jerry Bowman Jr.