Is Lack of Pay the Biggest Problem Facing the Shreveport Police Department?
Councilman James Flurry says the biggest problem impeding success for the Shreveport Police Department is pay. Officers at SPD start out at $33,000 a year while the average starting pay in Longview is more than 50 thousand.
Flurry says that a lot of quality officers leave Shreveport for another city or join the State Troopers.
"We need to figure out how to hire and retain ... but we also have got to figure out how we're going to get police patrol in the neighborhoods. That problem is still there, it's not going away," said Flurry.
However, despite the lack of funding, Flurry did go on to say that Mayor Ollie Tyler and the Council have been working hard to address the needs of officers in the city. He says that part of the problem is that a lot funds go toward paying the City's retirees, not to officers on the street.
Flurry said of the $488 million operating budget for the City of Shreveport, about 52 percent of it goes towards public safety.