'Blue Path' helps aspiring officers land in Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Blue Path' helps aspiring officers land in Memphis

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Memphis Police Department is working to get hundreds more officers to patrol the streets.

A new program called Blue Path is designed to do just that.

MPD Director Mike Rallings wants more officers to protect and serve the Bluff City.

"If you really want to make a difference, then join the organization and learn," Rallings said.

Students finishing up their education are taking a look at Memphis Police Department as a place to begin their careers.

"Just being raised in a family full of officers, I've seen the brotherhood that's been put together," Arlington High School senior Amilya Schultz said.

"I was raised where there is a lot of a bad environment like gangs, drugs, and stuff like that. So I said, I don't want to be one of them, I want to change that," Southwest Tennessee Community College student Melinda Munguia said.

Munguia grew up in south central Los Angeles. She said she's always wanted to be a police officer.

Now, thanks to the Blue Path program, her dream can become a reality.

Blue Path participants get free tuition for a two-year criminal justice degree from Southwest Tennessee Community College. Once they graduate, the Blue Path participants can undergo officer training and get a full-time job with MPD.

"I think that's really great," Munguia said. "Not all of us have the privilege of paying for all of our schooling."

Blue Path is a part of the continued effort to get more officers on the street. Director Rallings said MPD currently has fewer than 2,000 officers. The goal is to get at least 2,500.

"We have a opportunity to make sure that we have a qualified group of young people coming into the force to make Memphis a better place. That's what we need and we need it right now," Rallings said.

Munguia hopes she can someday realize her dream of putting on this badge.

"I'm just glad I'm here and I just can't wait to start my journey," Munguia said.

If you or someone you know is interested, MPD is hosting three other meetings next week about the Blue Path program.  

  • Monday, Oct 24 – 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct 25 – 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct 26 – 4:30-6:30 p.m.

All sessions will be held at Southwest Tennessee Community College's Macon Campus (5983 Macon Cove) Bornblum Library Auditorium (ML 122).  Free parking is available in the main parking lot in front of the Bornblum Library.

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