SHREVEPORT, La. - Caddo Parish commissioners are expected to vote on a number of proposed items ranging from emergency response times to ways to help the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caddo commissioners are expected to vote on a number of proposed items ranging from emergency response times to ways to help the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. One item is a proposed ordinance that would allow Caddo Parish to partner with the City of Shreveport and 911 to have a uniform fire reporting system.

Caddo Parish would give a one time payment of $100,000. The City of Shreveport would also give a one time amount of $100,000. This would be in conjunction with an annual reoccurring fee of $100,000 from the local 911 communications district.

The goal is to make the city and all of parish fire districts able to communicate on the same system by giving all Caddo fire districts and the Shreveport fire department upgraded technology like iPads to help with reporting medical and fire related response calls.

Commissioner Todd Hopkins proposed the ordinance. "This puts all the fire districts in the city of Shreveport fire on the same level with the same tools and everybody is taken care of that way," said Hopkins during the Caddo commission work session meeting.

Commissioners plan to vote on the ordinance on April 22 during the Caddo Parish Commission regular session meeting. Commissioners are also expected to vote on a proposed resolution that would support efforts to stop Asian American hate crimes in Caddo parish and across the United States.

Resolution 31 of 2021 would allow the Caddo commission to urge Congress to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act of 2021. The goal is to combat the documented surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans by dedicating the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate federal, state and local hate crimes.

According to the resolution, recent data revealed that since the start of the pandemic, hate crimes against Asians have increased by 150% in major cities across the U.S. Crimes ranged from harassment, verbal and physical assaults, refusal of service, and vandalism. Commissioners plan to vote on the resolution on Thursday during the commission's regular session meeting.

During the Caddo commission April 5 work session, Parish Administrator Woodrow Wilson told commissioners that the Caddo COVID emergency rental assistance program is "off to a great start."

Wilson reported that in the first five days, the parish received 1,735 applications. he said the parish is able to help up to 6,000 families. The program started accepting online applications on April 1.

The federal government gave Caddo Parish $14.3 million for the program. It was designed is to help residents who are unable to pay rent and electricity costs due to COVID-19. Both renters and landlords can apply.

Applications must be submitted online through the program's online portal caddocovidrent.org.

Caddo commissioners will vote on a resolution that would declare April 2021 as Minority Health Month in Caddo Parish. The goal is to recognize the health inequalities facing minorities. The resolution would also encourage Caddo Parish to support programs and activities that promote healthfulness in minority communities and other health disparities related to COVID-19.

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