The Memphis Police Department promoted 264 patrol officers to the rank of sergeant last week. But that's not enough, so this weekend the MPD is heading to St. Louis in search of men and especially women to fight Memphis crime.
There are more than 1400 men are on the Memphis Police force compared to only 385 women. "We're putting an emphasis on females. We've established a web page, Women in Police Work. We're trying to get our numbers of female applicants up." says Major Jim Kelly with the MPD Training Academy.
Recently promoted to sergeant, Terrie LeBlanc heads to St. Louis this week and Jackson, Tennessee next week offering encouragement to those considering careers as cops. "It's especially great for females. You've got a good paying job. The city will pay for your education. If you have a college degree, the city will give you an extra 71/2 percent on top of what you're already making. It's a great place to work." says Terrie.
Sergeant LeBlanc is a rarity on the Memphis police force. Of the 385 female officers, only 85 are white. The MPD, an equal opportunity employer, simply is not attracting large numbers of women, to fill the ranks. So recruiters will go out of town, on-line, and visit Mid-South area high schools and colleges to find men and women ready to lay down the law.
To join the Memphis Police Force you have to be a U.S. citizen age 21 or older with two years of college or two years active military with an honorable discharge, a good driving record, and no felonies.