Ever had a dinner party and the guest of honor was a no-show?
If so, you can share the sentiments of a dozen or so public officials who wanted to discuss Commission funding of sheriff patrols in the city limits.
Nine of the twelve Commissioners, Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator and his top two deputies, a representative of the Shreveport Marshal’s office and numerous Commission officials recently met to discuss a recommendation to the full commission for a July 5 vote.
This meeting was a follow up to a “crime summit” meeting held by Prator that was attended by Shreveport mayor Ollie Tyler, her police chief Alan Crump, Caddo Commissioners Mike Middleton and Louis Johnson, Shreveport Police Department (SPD) Chief and Caddo Councilmen Jerry Bowman and Willie Bradford.
Several Commissioners were on board with the idea of funding up to $125 grand to Prator to help reduce Shreveport’s spiraling crime rate.
Prator had quoted an estimate for $33 thousand a month for overtime to take over patrols in city areas adjacent to the parish line. This plan would allow Crump to put more boots on the ground in high crime areas.
On June 6, Commissioner Mario Chavez emailed Crump about the meeting. The email subject block was “SPD/Sheriff patrolling”.
“Chief Crump, we are discussing the funding of this operation tomorrow @ our Commission Long Range planning meeting @ 1400. I would like to invite you to get your opinion on this matter….I would appreciate your presence or a representative to attend our meeting to help us understand the SPD stance on this idea….”
Later that day Crump emailed Chavez. “Hello Commissioner Chavez, I am in receipt of your email and I would like to say that I appreciate any help a law enforcement agency can give us within the city limits Shreveport, thanks.” Crump copied Ollie Tyler, Brian Crawford, William Bradford, and William Goodin.
The committee meeting started at 2 p.m. and ended at 3 p.m. The Shreveport Police Department did not have anyone in attendance.
Goodin arrived ten minutes after the meeting adjourned.
Later Goodin advised the media that Crump as out of town and that Crump informed Chavez he could not attend the meeting.
Chavez denies any communication by Crump other than the email.
At the Council work session on Monday Tyler lamely attempted to defend the no-show by the SPD.
“When they called the meeting for people to show up, we didn’t know they were calling a meeting to develop a plan. The plan had already, we made it.” She did not explain why no one from her Administration attended.
Tyler said several times that she did not ask the Commission for funding. And she made vague references to funding that she was going to re-allocate for the additional crime-fighting efforts.