Efficiency study recommends big changes for city services

The study was presented during a Memphis City Council committee meeting Tuesday.
The study was presented during a Memphis City Council committee meeting Tuesday.

At a committee meeting Tuesday, Memphis City Council members were presented with a nearly one million dollar efficiency study that looked over all city services.  As the meeting progressed, it was clear the Memphis Police Department could be in for some big changes soon if all the efficiency study recommendations are followed.

Police Director Larry Godwin sat back and listened as the study was read to council members.  "I don't have a problem with somebody taking a hard look at us," he said.  "If I see something there that's a pretty good idea, I'm gonna go for it, and if it don't work, you can always go back to the way you were."

Suggestions in the efficiency study include:

  • Making it policy for officers to not respond to fender benders
  • Implement a take-home program for squad cars to increase visibility and efficiency
  • Increase staffing of 911 operators to improve call response time

Godwin said he would read the recommendations and decide if they would work in the real world of crime fighting.  "You don't want to spend their money, taxpayer money, foolishly," he said.  "You want to spend it as efficient as you possibly can.  You want to use staff as best as you can.  And at the same time, there's a level of service our citizens expect."

The study praised Memphis Police for some of their preventative measures, including Operation: Blue Crush.

The study also looked at the operations of the Memphis Fire Department.  Recommendations included:

  • Moving some fire stations and personnel
  • Charging holders of large events when a fire engine is placed on stand-by
  • Cut 230 jobs

Officials said those cuts would not be made anytime soon, if ever.

City administrators will give an official response to the study on June 19.

to contact George Brown by email.