Memphis Police Association plans billboards to say 'Thank you' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Police Association plans billboards to say 'Thank you'

(WMC-TV) - Leaders of the Memphis Police Association say controversial billboards helped get their pay raises back. Now, the group is working on new billboards for its latest fight.

Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams say the designs of the new billboards are already posted at the top of the MPA website. The messages on them may surprise you.

"We want to tell the citizens, 'Thank you,'" said Williams. "We could not have done it without them. We asked the citizens to send petitions to city hall, they flooded city hall."

A flood in response to controversial billboards that went up around town in April. One of the billboards read, "Danger: Enter at your own risk." Another: "This city does not support public safety."

The billboards angered Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, the city council, and local tourism officials.

"I think it's very disrespectful," said Kevin Kane.

But Williams says the billboards worked.

"We wanted them down as soon as possible," he said.

As soon as the 4.6 percent pay cut was restored, MPA ordered them to be removed.

"It was a bittersweet victory," Williams said. "Even though we got the 4.6 back, that was a good thing, but we're definitely concerned about the safety of the citizens as well."

Earlier this week, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong announced possible precinct closures and other potential cuts in order to meet budget constraints.

Williams says the city should not take money from public safety.

"Stop trying to pass it off on the citizens and slighting the citizens," he said.

Williams said they will consider more pointed billboards if need be, but only after saying 'Thank you' to the public for its help.

Director Armstrong says he will also consider delaying promotions, eliminating academy classes, deleting shifts, and other options. When he will make his recommendations is not known, but he must slash nearly $6 million.

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