Godwin: Citizens should be outraged at misconduct - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Godwin: Citizens should be outraged at misconduct

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin at Wednesday's press conference. Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin at Wednesday's press conference.

At a press conference Wednesday, Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said citizens should be outraged that officers who were supposed to be fighting crime were actually spending hours at police union headquarters Tuesday.

"This police administration will not ignore complaints of misconduct," he said.

Godwin said nine officers were relieved of duty Tuesday night for hanging out at police union headquarters when dispatchers were led to believe they were out on assignments.  

"Nine officers on duty were sitting in the MPA office, neglecting their duties," Godwin said.

It's a conflict that suggests bigger problems between police administrators and their officers.  When internal affairs officers arrived at the union building Tuesday evening, someone tipped off radio talk show host Mike Fleming.
 
"MPA offices on Jefferson are being raided by agents of the 12th floor administration of the Memphis Police Department," Fleming told his listeners during his show Tuesday night.
 
Godwin denied allegations that the raid was designed to send a message to newly elected union officers. 

"This cannot be farther from the truth," he said.

Union president elect Gene Tulley is a lieutenant, and part of police management, even though police states members of management can not hold elected office with the Memphis Police Association. 

Godwin said he has nothing against union, and as for the officers caught hanging around, they will be back on the job by Thursday.

"That's all we're doing, is the right thing, and to turn this into a union issue is beyond me," he said.

An officer who asked to remain anonymous told Action News 5 that officers on the street have stopped working, and they are afraid of retaliation.  According to the officer, morale is at an all time low inside the department, leading to a high crime rate in Memphis.

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