MPD prepares to open new precincts

MPD prepares to open new precincts

(WMC-TV) - Police are preparing to open new precincts as a way to make sure each community is getting the police patrol it deserves to keep it safe. It is part of a major reorganization of the Memphis Police Department.

Memphis police officer Charles Wren is now officially number 1,808. That is the number of officers who have been saved from bodily harm or even death because of Safariland body armor.

"I'm just happy to be back on the street, patrolling, protecting the streets again," said Officer Wren.

The Safariland Saves Club induction ceremony is a way for the body armor company to honor the people who survive the ultimate test.

"It's an absolute honor on the part of Safariland to recognize these officers in the field, who chose to put our product between them and harm's way," said Ed Hinchey, Safariland.

On July 2, Officer Wren was shot numerous times by a man with a shotgun who was standing at the intersection of Barron Avenue and Getwell Road.

His body armor stopped the bullets from penetrating his torso, although, his unprotected legs were hit several times.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong says some officers are so busy responding to 911 calls like the one that could have killed Officer Wren, that they barely have time to patrol the communities they serve.

"Very seldom do you see them in a pro-active mode, patrolman mode. They're either en route to a call or clearing a call," said Director Armstrong.

Armstrong's plan to change that requires changing the precinct boundaries to more evenly divide staff and call load.

"Every single precinct will now have six wards. That gives us the ability to manage our personnel better, gives us the ability to distribute our resources better. Our precincts now will have all the same amount of officers," said Armstrong.

The director also wants to move some detectives from 201 Poplar downtown into precincts by February.

Now, Armstrong is hoping to get your thoughts and ideas about how police can better serve your neighborhood.

All nine precincts will host town hall meetings Thursday night at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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