Friday, October 16, 2009

Bossier City Mayor proposes drastic cuts in police, fire departments

Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker announced this morning that the city will lay off 88 employees by the end of the year, most in the police and fire departments. Layoffs will be based on ‘last hired – last fired’. Those who could lose their jobs will be notified today.
Current vacancies will not be filled.
KTBS reports that Twenty-six Police Department employees will be laid off, along with 38 in the Fire Department. The city will close one or two fire stations and go from a Class 1 to a Class 2 fire department, which will cause homeowners insurance rates to rise slightly.
Although property taxes have been rolled back by a third to keep bills from increasing as the value of property rose, because officials believed that growth and increased sales taxes would make up the difference.
None of this is final until the city council approves the budget, and I have a feeling that they may be weighing some other options.


  1. A class 1,2, or 3 are priced the same for homeowners. The cuts were necessary from what I understand because both departments have become extremely top heavy. Additionally, I was told that the police pensions payments the city must pay has gone up due to the poor performance of the fund under investigation.

  2. Did he say that the problem is the Haynesville Shale? That is what they have been waiting on all year long to plan their budget?

  3. Why have none of the city employees who have been there 30+ years been asked to retire? These people have nothing to gain by staying and if they had any intregrity would have offered to retire in order to save the jobs of a few of the men and women beneath them. These "last hired, first fired" have young struggling families to support on an insulting salary. How many of us would be willing to strap on a bullet proof vest and 30 pounds of gear just to make a living. These men and women perform a service that very few of us could possibly do, but that all of us want to utilize when the time comes...The police and fire departments of Bossier City have made Bossier City the safest city in our state and the 16th safest city in our nation...And this is how we thank them. The added danger imposed on those left behind in these departments alone is shameful. What will our citzens do now that our police and fire departments will be stretched so thin that many calls will take 3 or 4 times longer to answer? Those minutes ticking by will seam an enternity when it's your loved one in need. If the mayor had any integrity he would publicly appologize to the men, women, and families of our police and fire departments and the citizens of Bossier City for failing to protect us. I do not believe for one moment that any real effort was made by our mayor or city council to save these jobs. Were budget or salary cuts even considered? Did the mayor offer to cut his own salary or benefits to save a job or two? For the life of me I cannot understand the lack of outrage from our citizens. Why is this money suddenly gone? Why have nonemergent city projects continued when our city officials knew the money was running out? Why are we recieving such flimsy answers and excuses from our city officials? Apparently our city officials also failed to consider the impact this will have on our safety. Shame on you Mayor Walker. Shame on you city council.

  4. Why did this all just come out, couldn't they see it coming? And the city council was just notified this week? And the department heads had to read it in the paper? Please. This won't only hurt the image of the city government, it will destroy the image that Bossier has built up over a number of years.

  5. We cannot afford to compromise the safety of the citizens of Bossier by cutting our fire or police depts. They put their lives on the line everyday to protect and defend us and this is the thanks they get? We have the BEST coverage in this state. The crime rate in Bossier is so much lower because of these dedicated men and women. We can make cuts in other areas. When you start cutting the police and firefighters you are putting yourself wide open for crime to come in. We have had personal experiences from the EMTs coming to our house and transporting us to the hospital several times and they were top notch professionals each time saving my life as well as my husband and daughter when we were in crisis. We cannot afford to do without this protection! The reason crime is so low on this side of the river is because of the dedicated force we have. Take money from somewhere else not our safety. Who would you want taking care of you in case of an emergency? A short staffed EMT having to work extra hours and be sleep deprived and stretched thin from overwork or a rested, fresh, prepared EMT that is ready to handle any emergency. Please don't compromise our health and safety for the sake of budget. As a senior citizen of Bossier I feel much safer knowing our fine police and firefighters are ready and prepared for any emergency. Whether it be a natural disaster or whatever we know we will be provided the best protection available. They keep the drugs and crime down over here. Cut staff and your inviting trouble to come in. LET'S KEEP ALL OF THEM WHERE THEY BELONG. CUT MONEY FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE. WE NEED OUR FIRFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS!!

  6. Ok, since these budget cuts hit the Police and Fire dept. now let the cat out of the bag and tell us what this is really about. Many of us have to budget and we all know that there are many cuts that can be made.
    Here is a cut, take the city vehicles from employees that do not respond to any emergencies. At my employment I have a staff car but I have to provide my own transportation to and from work.
    And what about the gas we pay for for those that chose to live waaayyyy out of city limits. even in a city vehicle they are too far to respond to anything and will be handling things from a phone or radio anyway.
    And how many of the 30+ year employees will be on the streets backing up the calls and not just sitting around doing 'admin. stuff.' I know they are still waiting to finish the drop program or won't have insurance... they had 30+ years to plan for insurance.
    I know if I was putting my life on the line every time I respond to a call I would like to know that there is backup on the streets with me and not at the station.
    Go ahead and cut and then let someone die whether it is another police officer or an emgergency call for the Firemen, either medical or fire and because there wasn't anyone to respond and see what happens then.
    Bottom line here is there is more to this budget issue than we are hearing. Maybe the mayor is trying to clean house with public outrage and wants the pressure on the old timers and wants them out so cutting that deep at the bottom is just more old politics.
    Let us see what is going on with the budget before time to vote. I'm not sure of who on City Council we can trust other than the one that was strong enough to speak up the other day! maybe it has been some good old boy stuff with bids going on and we are paying too much for jobs. Still not sure about the money we spend to wine and dine the Cyber Command. How much was that?
    Stand strong Bosier City we need to stand together to show we support our Police and Fire personel. I believe there is a power play in the works here somewhere!!

  7. Is there a need for a serious AUDIT from a totally independant firm. No way we just got to this point without someone knowing. Someone saw it coming long before now. Do we not have committees to help over see our spending and expected returns?


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