MPD revives 2009 program in effort to combat crime rate - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPD revives 2009 program in effort to combat crime rate

Current PST recruits (Source: WMC Action News 5) Current PST recruits (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Memphis Police Department is looking for police service technicians to help free up officers to combat the rising homicide rate.

Police service technicians, or PSTs, are specialists who handle things like car crashes and traffic citations. 

MPD hasn't had a PST class since 2009, but this year that's going to change. Currently, 20 recruits are working toward becoming a PST, and MPD hopes to start another class soon.

"My mom has been a police officer for 30 years, so she kind of pushed me through it," recruit Collette Hollister said. "She also went through the PST program a long time ago."

Hollister is nearly through her first week of training. She and the other recruits have big career plans with MPD.

"Just been a lifelong goal to become a police officer, and this was my foot in the door. This was my step toward that goal," recruit Brandon Munn said.

Interim Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings said having PSTs will help free up officers. He hopes having more officers on patrol will help reduce the rising homicide rate in Memphis.

"We had 33,000 crashes in Memphis last year," Rallings said. "So these men and women will be very busy helping us make Memphis a safer place."

The current class of recruits will finish training July 18. Rallings said he needs applicants for the next class, which starts in September.

MPD will pay a $25,000 salary plus benefits to PSTs. Plus, the city will pay college tuition for up to 54 semester hours.

Many PSTs use the job as stepping stone to becoming a full-time Memphis police officer.

"No more than 3 years," Rallings said. "By that time, we expect you to have made all the requirements to become a Memphis police officer."

That's Hollister's plan. She wants to become a full-time officer so she can help children get off the path of crime.

"We really need younger police officers to get out here to talk to our younger people, our younger citizens," Hollister said.

Anybody over 18 can go to the police training academy to pick up an application. Applications are due June 10.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly