Officials weigh pros and cons of keeping Godwin in office - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officials weigh pros and cons of keeping Godwin in office

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - With less than two months left to Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin's tenure, temperatures are rising over a citizen's campaign to keep him.

"Right now, this is premature," Memphis City Council Chairman Myron Lowery said Monday. "This is not something the council is considering right now."

According to Lowery, Wharton has to nominate Godwin before the council can even consider the issue.

Action News 5's Kontji Anthony conducted an informal and anonymous poll of Memphis City Council members on Monday, asking them if they want to keep Godwin as Memphis Police Director.

  • Five said "yes"
  • Three are undecided
  • Two said "no"
  • Two were unavailable
  • One council member cannot vote because of official misconduct charges

Lowery mapped out the pros and cons that council members are weighing. The 12 percent drop in crime over the last year is clearly on the pros list.

"Crime is down in Memphis," he said. "He's done an excellent job."

But Godwin was paid to take part in DROP, the Deferred Retirement Optional Plan, that requires he retire April 14th.  The code says, "No additional years of service or compensation shall be considered..."

That's clearly on the cons list.

"We could face legal action from former employees who say, 'I didn't receive the same opportunity,'" Lowery said.

The undecideds say they'll reserve judgment until the mayor's nominations cross their desk.

Godwin is out of town, but last week he confirmed he's in talks with the mayor to stay. But he also said he'd go willingly.

"When I walk out, I'll walk out," he said last Wednesday. "If I'm not here, if I cross your mind, maybe you'll smile."

Wharton was unavailable for comment Monday.

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