SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Members of the Shreveport Police Officer’s Association are outraged after the city’s Health Care Trust Fund Board voted in favor of a major insurance increase.

The decision resulted in a five-percent increase in insurance premiums for the city’s officers, while the family plan was raised by 30 percent.

“In a year with unprecedented sales tax increases and federal infusion of Covid funds we continued uninterrupted front-line services to the Citizens of Shreveport. This is an insult to those that serve during one of the most dangerous times in our history,” SPOA President Michael Carter said in a letter sent to the city council Friday, urging them to vote against the premium increases.

“We fought so hard last year for a 17.1 percent pay raise, which was minimal and it was reduced to four percent, and now that four percent has been totally consumed and then some. It’s very insulting, very insulting to be working and living through one of the most dangerous times.”

Carter went on to point out that the city has already lost police officers in record numbers, calling the health insurance premium hike “as untimely as anything we have ever seen in our history.”

“The deductibles listed on formal printouts are ridiculous compared to the base salaries of Police Officers. Honestly, it is as if this City wants to eliminate an entire Department. A deductible of 4,000 annually up to 22,000 annually when the gross salary for a new Police Officer is 35,000. This has to be one of the worst decisions we have seen from the City in decades.”

“The Health Care Trust Fund Board made a tough decision based upon compliance and past actions,” read a statement released by the City of Shreveport late Friday afternoon. “We all care about city employees and are currently paying 85 percent of employees’ health care premiums for those enrolled in the lowest-cost plan and 74 percent for the highest-cost plan.

The city council is expected to vote on the health care premium increase at their September 28 council meeting.