With Alan Chump now on medical leave, the chattering class in Shreveport is trying to figure out what will be happening at the Shreveport Police Department, writes columnist John Settle.

Shreveport Police Chief Alan Crump went on medical leave on Nov. 12. Under the civil service laws, he can remain on medical for 365 days.

Crump is drawing his full chief’s salary that is in excess of $160 grand. This continues while on medical leave or until he retires. He must retire if not cleared for duty and back to work at the end of his medical leave.

Crump has served for over 27 years on the police force. Thus his retirement will be at least 90% of his pay on the date of retirement.

His retirement pay continues to climb each day. Thus there is no financial incentive for Crump to retire early.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins is cooling his heels until he can name his own police chief. Ben Raymond has been the provisional chief since Nov. 13.

The police chief civil service board exam is scheduled for July 31. The test results should be back in 30 days thereafter.

Perkins can then select his own chief from those applicants who score 75% and above. The mayor has said he will consult an advisory citizen group before he makes his selection.

The applicant selected by Perkins must be approved by the city council. The last council approved Crump despite the fact that he scored one of the lowest passing grades on the police chief exam.

Unlike department heads, a Shreveport police chief does not serve at the pleasure of the mayor.  He can only be removed for "cause" as determined by the Shreveport Municipal Fire & Police Civil Service Board.