Council rejects resolution to allow officers to live outside Shelby County - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Council rejects resolution to allow officers to live outside Shelby County

On Tuesday, a City Council committee rejected a resolution that would have allowed Memphis police officers to reside outside Shelby County lines.

In 2004, voters mandated emergency responders must live within Memphis city limits. Last year, the Memphis City Council voted to allow them to live anywhere in Shelby County. Mayor Herenton supported Tuesday's resolution, which would have allowed officers to live up to 20 miles outside the county.

"We need you to help us get more officers," said Mayor Herenton, addressing the council.

The mayor said that the city will not meet its goal to put 500 new officers on the streets unless council members further relax residency requirements.

Some council members agreed. "In my opinion you do whatever is necessary to provide public safety," said Councilman Reid Hedgepeth.

Council member Barbara Ware opposed the resolution. "To tell me that if you allow them to live 20 minutes way and not require them to be a part of the Memphis community does not make sense to me," said Ware.

Ware and Councilman Harold Collins argued that the city would lose tax revenues from those 500 officers living elsewhere. Other council members argued that lowering crime would bring more business and therefore more revenue to the city.

Council members continued the debate as the mayor returned to his office to prepare for Tuesday's budget address.

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