Shelby County deputies begin helping understaffed MPD

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Additional Shelby County Sheriff's deputies will be hitting the streets to help out the understaffed Memphis Police Department force in 2018.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell's staff formally laid out the proposal that Shelby County Commissioners authorized earlier this year, the result of a $3.2 million funding item in the budget. The initial deputies are not expect to cost as much as additionally thought.

The action has been debated among commissioners for months.

"We went through and reviewed all the particulars to determine which would all best make a difference," said Steve Leech, Chief Administrative Officer, with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

The roll out came after joint conferences between city and county officials. The Multi-Agency Gang unit would receive 15 deputies, with the existing sheriff's Fugitive Division receiving 10 deputies. It is expected more senior deputies in patrol would be moved up into the additional roles.

"Crime is one of the biggest issues here in Memphis, no question about it," Commissioner Walter Bailey said.

If successful, 25 deputies could be added over four years, bringing the total to 100.

"I've been hearing stuff out in the community," County Commissioner Melvin Burgess said. "The word is that we're trying to force metro police in the county, that the county's going to take over the Memphis Police Department. That is not true."

County officials said they expect to post the openings formally this and do not plan on lifting the Shelby County residency requirement. Click here to see posted opening at Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

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