Council committee asks for police efficiency study

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin was in the hot seat Tuesday as a city council committee questioned his department's war on crime.  Council members were interested in Mayor Herenton's proposal to put 650 new officers on the street.

"During the budget cycle in June we were told we only needed 22 additional officers," said council member Tajuan Stout-Mitchell, "and now we need 650."
Council members wanted to know how officers are used, where they're deployed, and where money is being spent.

"I thought they had said at the press conference they had not used overtime," said council member Carol Chumney. "Today the director backed off of that and said we had. I want to find out how much they've used and is this really an effort to give them some overtime they needed to begin with."
Tajuan Stout-Mitchell expressed interest in an efficiency study.  "They will look at the complement of our staff, police officers, and how they are deployed now, and how many desk jobs we have of officers who could be on the street, and civilians could take those jobs," she said.

Godwin was confident his department would stand up to the scrutiny.  "The mayor didn't shoot from the hip on this," he said. "It's been thought out. We've looked at it. We've done our research on it."

Since it will be part of a larger study already commissioned by the city, an efficiency study focused on the police department would not cost any extra money.