MPD to seek more money for overtime

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Memphis Police Department will likely be asking the Memphis City Council for more money in the new year.

MPD brass told a handful of council member Tuesday they've spent a little more than $11 million on overtime so far this year. The figure is roughly 57 percent of MPD's overtime budget for the year and inching closer to the $19.7 million the department was allocated.

"We're always robbing Peter to pay Paul," said MPD Director Mike Rallings back in May. "When you're low on manpower, overtime is your only reserve."

That's what Rallings said in May when city council members debated and eventually cut MPD's overtime budget by nearly $3 million. The council told the department if they needed more money they could come back and ask for it.

It appears the ask would happen by April. MPD informed a council committee Tuesday they'd need roughly $450,000, with the bulk of extra spending expected around MLK50.

Police will graduate a class of recruits from the academy in January, but they continue to be low on manpower, down officers from this time last year.

MPD brass said Tuesday overtime has been used to pay for protests in the first half of this year, which includes monitoring of Confederate monuments, and high profile investigations like the Lorenzen Wright homicide or Mud Island murder of Susan Grissom. Overtime also paid for protection at this year's St Jude Memphis marathon – the biggest yet.

"I don't think anybody wants to see special investigative services being cut, special operations," said Worth Morgan, Memphis City Council member, "We certainly know that we have to have enough bodies on the street."

Director Rallings was not present Tuesday, and other members of his leadership team didn't want to discuss the overtime presentation with WMC Action News 5 afterward.

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