by Marion Marks
Only three candidates Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler named among the seven finalists for the post of Police Chief have any advanced education degrees. The mayor’s educational and career background should cause this shortcoming to be alarming. In a time of advanced digital technology available locally and cyber crimes in our own area a broader experience and background in leadership should be a necessity. And, it is very sad that beyond and MBA from Centenary College, the next most senior and “academic” credential is from our local institution that I had to research online to determine their accreditation: Inter-Baptist Theological Seminary, Inc. also found in Dunn & Bradstreet as an “unverified entity.”.
The finalist list includes Interim Police Chief Alan Crump, SPD Sgt. Janice Dailey, SPD Sgt. Rodney Horton, SPD Lt. Greg Jones, Caddo Sheriff’s Office Capt. Darwin Jones, SPD Cpl. Benjamin Raymond, and Assistant Shreveport Chief of Police Wayne Smith. The chief is expected to named prior to the end of the month based upon final interviews and other considerations that are generally at the discretion of the mayor. [LINKS TO APPLICATIONS AND EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS]
Corporal Raymond scored the highest among the original 19 applicants who took the civil service exam, 95%. Interim chief Alan Crump scored among the lowest. Shreveport has regularly been noted as being insulated from guidelines the rest of the world finds significant, and the educational level of several finalists must be noted.
“We are moving forward with due diligence in the selection of the City of Shreveport’s next police chief,” Mayor Tyler noted in a statement released late Monday afternoon. “I have narrowed the original group of highly qualified and skilled applicants down to those finalists I believe possess the greatest ability to move the organization forward in a positive direction to ensure its future success.”
The Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board set minimum qualifications for the Police Chief, but certainly these do not preclude the mayor from demanding that candidates should reach beyond the bare minimum.
Tyler will give each finalist a thorough interview, according to the mayor’s office. It is the public as well as the rank and file officers who must have confidence in the new chief. The mayor will conduct interviews “to assess who will be best for this key leadership position.” And, we can only hope that any decision will be based on a more thorough review of the record of candidates with the public as well as in leadership experience.
Any decision before the end of November will cast a shadow over the city for years to come, and the trajectory of crime statistics, training records and morale in the department will also cast a lengthy shadow with great weight on this region.
The finalists, their backgrounds in law enforcement, test scores and educational accomplishments are as follows:
Alan Crump – Current title: Interim Police Chief. Years of service: 24 years. Test score 77. Education: Doctorate of Theology[Inter-Baptist Theological Seminary, Inc.]; Masters of Theology; Bachelor of Theology; Bachelor of Criminal Justice; and Associate of Criminal Justice
Janice Dailey – Current title: Sergeant with Shreveport Police Department, Years of service: 24 years. Test score 86. Education: 69 college credit hours
Rodney Horton – Current title: Sergeant with Shreveport Police Department, Years of Service: 20 years. Test score 88. Education: Associates of General Studies and 61 additional college credit hours.
Darwin Jones – Current title: Captain with Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office. Test score 78. Years of service: 25 years. Education: Masters of Administration of Justice and Security [University of Phoenix] and Bachelors of Criminal Justice[Wiley College]
Greg Jones – Current title: Lieutenant with the Shreveport Police Department. Years of service: 24 years. Test score 85. Education: Bachelor of Business [Wiley College]
Benjamin Raymond – Current title: Corporal with Shreveport Police Department. Years of service: 16 years. Test score 95. Education: Bachelor of Criminal Justice[Northeast Louisiana University]
Wayne Smith – Current title: Assistant Chief of Police with Shreveport Police Department. Years of service: 36 years. Test score 88. Education: Masters of Business Administration[Centenary College] and Bachelors in Organizational Management
With the new security and training complex in our region as well as the new crime lab, it is shocking to see the lack of depth of training among too many of the finalists.