MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - With the help of overtime, some Memphis Police Department officers are making six figures. While that is good news for those cashing the checks, it is not good news for those who are writing the checks.
A dwindling workforce and a steady crime rate has Memphis police officers earning much more in overtime than in years past. In fact, the MPD workforce is down to its lowest numbers in six years.
The Commercial Appeal found that in some cases, officers are making six figure incomes when you calculate in overtime.
MPD Director Toney Armstrong responded by saying his job is to focus on safety -- not dollars.
"It's my responsibility, or our responsibility, to make sure that our city is safe. The mayor and I have talked and he's assured me that what type of resources that we need to do that, if it's in additional funding for OT, he'll make that available," Armstrong said.
The 2015 city budget has a little more than $11 million earmarked for police overtime. Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams spent months calling on the city to hire more officers.
"We are in desperate need of officers right now, but what do you expect?" he said.
But the director, again, says he's only focused on making the Bluff City safe. Period.
"We're going to make sure our city is safe. If it means additional resources, if it means additional manpower, we're going to continue to do that," Armstrong explained.
Based upon number of officers and crime stats, the massive overtime issue is not expected to go away anytime soon.