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A trip to New Orleans for the Essence Festival was an expensive one for Shreveport residents. Even if the citizens weren't the ones who got to enjoy the trip.

KTBS reports that a trip taken by Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins to the Essence Festival in New Orleans cost the city quite a bit. According to the report, KTBS obtained documents that they say there was a large uptick in overtime pay for Shreveport Police officers during the trip.

The report says Shreveport Police who were providing security for the Mayor turned in 68 hours of overtime. With those overtime hours being paid at a rate of time-and-a-half. Additionally, it says the SPD security detail received "comp days".

The KTBS report broke down one specific officer's information, which they say indicates he claimed 23 hours on the Saturday of Essence Festival, and 21 hours on Sunday. In addition, the same officer claimed 13 hours on the July 4th holiday, the day after the Essence Festival.

KTBS adds that they are trying to gain an interview with the Mayor to allow him to explain the process, and how officers are selected for these valuable security positions. Instead of a response from the Mayor, KTBS says they got a response from the Mayor's Spokeswoman Marquel Sennet.

The response from the Mayor's office says that the Mayor's life has been threatened in "several incidents".

This isn't the first time the Mayor's travel expenses have caused an issue. There is a State Audit looking into travel expenses and reporting inside the City of Shreveport. The audit will likely review more than just travel expenses and will review other financial irregularities inside the City Government. The Councilperson who called for the audit did so as a member of the Shreveport City Council Audit and Finance Committee but was promptly removed from that committee as he requested the audit. Which created the appearance of retaliation, and potentially a deeper issue.

Essentially, the Essence Festival trip is just the latest questionable issue surrounding Government Plaza in Shreveport.

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