MPD owed big bucks for security at city events

MPD owed big bucks for security at city events

(WMC-TV) – The Memphis Police Department says it is owed big bucks for working security at several Bluff City events, such as the St. Jude Marathon and Memphis in May.

Police provide security at a lot of these types of events and their service is not free.

Nearly $1 million in billable hours have gone uncollected since 2006. Now, Memphis City Hall is looking to make it right.

Memphis City Attorney Herman Morris explained that the city plans to re-work the way it bills large-scale events.

"How much additional revenue do they bring in, in terms of revenue that wouldn't be here but for that event and we offset against some of the cost. At least that's the idea, the concept," said Morris.

Morris says the city is working on a written policy that gives credit toward security based on the money the event generates for the city.

"We want these events to continue because they do generate an economic and a positive impact," explained Morris.

Jim Strickland chairs the Memphis City Council's budget committee. He is on board with a new written billing policy. He would also like to see the city recover some of the nearly $1 million owed to the police department.

"Because if you can save a million here and a million there it becomes significant as a whole. So I think it's something we have to seriously look at," said Strickland.

Morris says his staff is in discussions to collect.

"I'm very optimistic that we can reach an accord and a satisfactory resolution with all of the entities that we're going to address this matter with," said Morris.

But he declined to hazard an estimate at how much of the million might actually turn up.

Morris says they are still writing this new billing waiver policy.

He says he has already gotten unsolicited calls from some who have to settle their debts.

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