Is Shreveport Trying to Quash the Police Union?
Shreveport city leaders have gotten a letter from an attorney accusing members of the police department of violating the law.
The skirmish centers on the Shreveport Police Officers Association. Leaders of that group say policy changes in the department are not legal and they want the administration to address the concerns.
KEEL News has obtained a copy of the letter to the Mayor and the City Council from Attorney Pam Breedlove. Here are some of the highlights:
This letter is to advise that I have been contacted on behalf the Shreveport Police Officer Association (“SPOA”) by its President, Michael Carter, Ph.D regarding the improper actions of the current Administration of the Shreveport Department (“SPD”) against SPOA and its members. SPD supervisors and high ranking members have begun violating Louisiana law in an open and apparent effort to prevent new police officers from joining SPOA and encourage others to resign from SPOA.
In December, 2017, Sgt. Briana Rivera who serves as an instructor at SPD Academy stood in front of the ongoing class, a captive audience, and erroneously told these cadets that they should not accept the lunch from SPOA because it would put them in a position of owing SPOA. She also told the cadets that SPOA would feed them and then expect them to sign a union card. She also erroneously told the cadets that SPOA was not a recognized union –which she knew was incorrect as SPOA helped her numerous times in her career.
SPOA has over 500 members. It files an annual tax return as a labor organization. It has been recognized as a labor organization by Governor John Bel Edwards, members of the Louisiana Legislature, the Fraternal Order of Police, numerous referral agencies.
If the City fails and refuses to acknowledge and comply with the law recognizing SPOA and its members rights to organize and/or refuses to meet with Dr. Carter and SPOA to resolve this matter, then SPOA will have no choice but to file suit against the City and all individuals who continue to violate the law for injunctive relief. Unless substantial progress is made in resolving this matter, suit will be filed the first week of March. This provides the City and SPOA 30 days to work this out which should be sufficient time for reasonable and prudent people to resolve this.
You can see the full letter here:
KEEL News reached out to Mayor Ollie Tyler and she says the city will not have a response at this time.