MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Down some 400 officers, the city is taking a stand to recruit and retain more officers.
Memphis is spending $400,000 on advertising to recruit more police officers.
It's no secret Memphis Police Department has struggled with an officer shortage, but some say a taxpayer driven ad campaign isn't the answer.
"We need them [more officers] for our teenagers--to help them do better," Debbie Lee said.
City of Memphis paid Bartlett-based advertising company Kelley & Associates Advertising $400,000 to help recruit and retain more officers.
"I hear a lot of them are leaving and going to other cities, so we probably need to replace them," Mike Carter said.
The $400,000 fee includes fliers, handouts, and other reading material being passed around in Tennessee and other states. The campaign will also aim to target more diverse police officers.
But some Memphians said spending $400,000 on an advertising campaign is not the best use of taxpayer money.
"I would imagine just asking the newspaper and the TV station to announce it," Linda Webb suggested. "If they did that, they shouldn't have to spend money on advertising."
Billboards popping up around Memphis are not part of the advertising campaign.
Those billboards advocate increasing police officer benefits. They are paid for by Memphis Police Association, not the city of Memphis.
Either way, Memphians seem split on the best way to solve the Memphis police officer shortage.