Fight Over 12 Hour Police Shifts Heats Up in Shreveport
The Shreveport City Council is being asked to approve a resolution showing support for a plan to let the police chief move his department to 12 hour shifts from the current 8 hour shifts.
This measure would take a position on a bill making the rounds in Baton Rouge during the legislative session that would make the change possible. Chief Ben Raymond asked State Representative Alan Seabaugh to sponsor the bill. It recently passed in a house committee with no opposition, In fact, the Shreveport Police Union sent in notes showing support for the change. But the Shreveport Police Officers Association does not support the change. In fact dozens of patrol officers have signed a petition opposing the change.
SPOA President Lt. Michael Carter tells KTBS this move could lead to more officers leaving the force.
Councilman Grayson Boucher has proposed the resolution to show lawmakers city leaders support the change. Chief Raymond has told KEEL News he has not made a decision about moving to 12 hour shifts. He simply wants to have the option to do that if he thinks it could help. "This has been a discussion for 18 months now," the Chief says, "We had a study done...look at our shift schedule, look at the personnel issues we're having, the amount of money we're currently spending in overtime to meet staffing and patrol and it was determined that 12 hour shifts would be a better alternative at this stage."