Refund the Police

As someone who was in the military, and whose father was in law enforcement, I believe in supporting the brave men and women who protect and serve the communities of Shreveport, Louisiana. This means advocating for well-deserved pay raises for the Shreveport Police Department

Let’s start by acknowledging the current salary structure for Shreveport police officers. While attending the police academy, recruits earn $2,723 per month. Comparing this to other nearby law enforcement agencies, such as the Bossier City Police and Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Departments, we can see that our officers are earning less than their counterparts.

For instance, recruits at Bossier City Police Department earn $3,133 per month, and Caddo Parish Sheriff‘s recruits earn $3,656.38 per month for its security deputy positions. This significant pay disparity is a cause for concern, as it may very well impact the recruitment and retention of qualified officers for the city.

When considering the dangerous nature of police work, it becomes even more crucial to support our officers. Shreveport has been ranked as the 8th most dangerous city in the United States by Forbes magazine. This alarming statistic highlights the challenging environment our police officers face daily. As of August 28, 2023, Shreveport, Louisiana is on pace for more than 80 deaths overall, with 57 homicides so far, per Red River Radio.

Police officers put their lives on the line to ensure our safety and maintain law and order in our community. What’s more, the SPD is allocated for 581 officers, but are approximately 135 officers short, according to KSLA News 12, citing Cpl. Christopher Bordelon of the Shreveport Police Department.

Moreover, the poverty rate in Shreveport stands at 24.5%, a significant variable that correlates with crime rates. Our officers are often dealing with the complex challenges that arise from poverty-stricken areas. The estimated total population of Shreveport, Louisiana, as of July 1, 2022, is 180,153 people. Even if Shreveport Police Department were at full capacity—the 581 officers for which it has been allocated—this is only 1 officer maintaining law and order per every 310 citizens. By providing SPD with a fair and competitive salary, we can attract and retain talented officers who are dedicated to serving and protecting our community.

In addition to a pay raise, we must also consider the benefits our officers receive. They are entitled to 9 paid holidays and 18 vacation days per year. The department offers an educational incentive program, providing financial support ranging from $100-200 per month, depending on the officer’s degree. Health, dental, and life insurance plans, paid sick leave, a state retirement system, and longevity pay are also part of the comprehensive benefits package.

It is important to emphasize that a pay raise is not just about financial compensation. It is a statement of appreciation and recognition for the sacrifices our officers make daily. It shows that we value their service and dedication to keeping our community safe.

In closing, the Shreveport Police Department plays a crucial role in maintaining public safety in our city. To attract and retain the best officers, we must ensure that their salaries are competitive and reflect the risks and challenges they face. By providing a fair pay raise, we can demonstrate our support for our police officers and their commitment to our community. Let us stand together and advocate for a well-deserved pay raise for our Shreveport police officers.