SHREVEPORT, La. - An acting mayor made a big move for the acting police chief in Shreveport on Thursday. But it's unknown how the actual mayor, Adrian Perkins, feels about it.
Councilman Jerry Bowman, who has been a strong Perkins ally, sent a written statement to local media, praising Ben Raymond for his leadership of the Shreveport Police Department the past 10 months.
Bowman wrote in part, "I have been contacted by numerous citizens who have expressed serious concerns about the selection committee’s exclusion of Chief Raymond as a potential candidate for the permanent position of Chief of Police; I have likewise been contacted by several officers of the Shreveport Police Department who have expressed the same concern; In my opinion, based upon all of these factors and concerns, it would be imprudent to exclude Chief Raymond as a candidate for the permanent position of Chief of Police for the City of Shreveport; Therefore, in order to assure the continuity in this fight for public safety, as Mayor Pro Tem, I am including Chief Raymond as a candidate for the permanent position of Chief of Police for the City of Shreveport."
Perkins' spokesman, Ben Riggs, said the mayor traveled to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York for a speech and an award.
That made Bowman acting mayor during that time. Riggs said the administration had no knowledge ahead of Bowman's statement. And Riggs still won't say if Perkins is considering Raymond.
Last Friday, the mayor's advisory committee voted to recommend three other internal candidates for police chief: Sgt. Michael Carter, Lt. Tedris Smith and Assistant Chief Wayne Smith.
The mayor must make his choice soon. The city council is expected to consider it at Monday's meeting before a vote on Tuesday.
Bowman's move is reminiscent of an action by his mother, the late Joyce Bowman, in 2010. While Mayor Cedric Glover went out of state, Joyce Bowman, as mayor pro tem, fired Shreveport's airport director, Roy Miller. Glover immediately reinstated Miller, but he resigned a few months later.