Wharton: 'We haven't cut public safety' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wharton: 'We haven't cut public safety'

Budget cuts are coming for MPD. Budget cuts are coming for MPD.
The mayor says public safety cuts are based in the budget passed by the city council. The mayor says public safety cuts are based in the budget passed by the city council.

(WMC-TV) - Concerns are rising over public safety following the announcement of millions of dollars in cuts from the Memphis Fire Department.

A fire station closing, the decommission of a ladder truck, and the deletion of triple-digit job are all part of the cuts. But budget cuts are coming for MPD, too.

"We haven't cut public safety," said Memphis mayor A C Wharton.

By we, he means his administration.

The mayor says public safety cuts are based in the budget passed by the city council.

"The council had some even, really drastic cuts that were zeroed straight in on the police department. 2.5 percent, which I believe equates to maybe $5.9 million," said Wharton.

The mayor says he has never advocated for police precinct closure and job cuts.

"Make that point crystal clear, you won't find one document or one entry where the administration targeted police and fire," said Wharton. "We have cut elsewhere and increased MPD ... We have spared MPD."

Whatever happens with the police department, Mayor Wharton says enforcement personnel jobs are safe.

"Nobody's being fired. Nobody's being laid off," he said.

And everything else will come from Police Director Toney Armstrong's recommendation.

"We're still waiting on that plan. We've had conversations with director Armstrong, and he's going to do everything he can to work around any personnel cuts," said Wharton.

MPD says no decisions have been made right now. A department spokesperson says Director Armstrong is out of town until next week.

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