Resolution fails: officers must live within Shelby County limits

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A residency resolution that would have allowed new Memphis police officers to live outside county limits failed Tuesday night after a five-hour debate.

"We are not able to recruit the number of people from the pool we have," said councilman Shea Flinn. "The only thing we can do is get a bigger pool."

The city council voted 7-6 against the proposal, which would have permitted officers to live up to 20 miles away from Memphis.

Some believe there are enough prospective officers already living in the city, some of whom have been disqualified for questionable reasons.

"Why is there a belief that applicants outside of Memphis and Shelby County are going to be accepted and those who live inside will not?" said council member Janis Fullilove.

Hundreds of citizens packed council chambers to share their experiences about living with crime and to urge council members to pass the residency requirements.

Heather Fox, the victim of a highly-publicized crime, shared her story Tuesday night. Nearly two years ago, the good samaritan gave a woman and her baby a ride. The woman is accused of carjacking Fox and shooting her in the back.

"As I lay on the shoulder bleeding to death...and I never asked where they lived and neither should you," said Fox, whose comments were met with applause.

But those personal stories failed to sway the council.

New MPD officers will be required to live in Shelby County.