Consultants hired to improve MPD workforce

Consultants hired to improve MPD workforce

(WMC-TV) - There have been more than 20 Memphis police officers arrested so far this year. Another arrest was made this week, and an officer is charged with the rape and incest of a family member.

In light of these arrests, the City of Memphis hired three consultants to review the police department's policies and procedures.

Reverend Keith Norman is one of those consultants. He spoke with Action News 5 about his role and about what he expects.

Reverend Normal says he already has some ideas and he is looking forward to exacting change.

"I think it's a good overall exercise for our city to engage in at this time," he said.

He will have a major say in the future of the Memphis Police Department.

"I'm very positive about it. I would not be engaged if I were not hopeful and positive about the police department," said Norman.

Over the past year, nearly two dozen cops have turned up on the wrong side of the law.

Mayor A C Wharton hired the three consultants one week ago. They will make recommendations on how the police department can improve.

"We need to take a systemic look at this very deeply and see how we handle things," said Norman. "We're looking at it from a both sides. How do we fix it so citizens of Memphis get the best possible police force and the safest community that we can have and how do we help the officers provide that service."

Norman has advocated for victims in high profile cases involving police officers, including the Duanna Johnson case, and more recently, 15-year-old Justin Thompson's death.

Of the three consultants, Norman is the only one without a background in law enforcement.

"I think I'll be a trustworthy point of contact for citizens or people who may have concerns and they will be the professionals who can advise me as to why these things exist and why they happen that way. I think it's a good mix," he said.

The first round of recommendations is due in less than 60 days. The rest of the work will last through June.

Norman says he expects positive results, though he does not expect to solve every issue.

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