Winners, losers in Strickland's proposed $669M budget

Winners, losers in Strickland's proposed $669M budget

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Department is slated to get more funding from Mayor Jim Strickland's next budget, however not everyone is happy about the piece of the pie on their plate.

"Public safety is a major priority," Strickland said.

In 2016 Memphis logged a record setting 228 homicides, and with a police force short by hundreds of boots on the ground, it's no surprise the mayor wants to move more funds to MPD.

His proposed budget seeks an increase totaling at least $6 million. That money would go toward hiring 50 officers, 70 public service technicians, and pay more in overtime.

"We're down hundreds of police officers. We have to push recruiting and retention of police officers," Strickland said.

Parks and libraries will also see budget boosts under Strickland's proposal—with parks getting $6 million more and libraries getting $1 million more.

The mayor wants to add hours at libraries, which he said will help entertain young Memphians and keep them on the right path.

"We need to do more in our community centers and libraries for young people," Strickland said.

But not everyone is happy with the mayor's numbers. Memphis Police Association said proposed raises aren't good enough, and Memphis Fire Fighters Association said their department actually loses money in the proposed budget.

"I didn't hear firefighters mentioned one time," Thomas Malone said.

The mayor's budget also proposed a $3 million cut for general services. That department maintains grounds of city owned buildings and the city's vehicle fleet.

Strickland's office is also exploring ways to change solid waste pickup--as in, large items that don't fit in your trash can. The current fund that pays for solid waste will run dry in three years.

The mayor's office and City Council are considering a number of options, including fee increases.

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