Luttrell, Godwin show united front after rumors of rift - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Luttrell, Godwin show united front after rumors of rift

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin and Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell held a joint news conference Monday to set the record straight after rumors of a rift between the two over Memphis police residency requirements.

Monday, the pair said they were partners in fighting crime.

"He and I both have one singular mission, and that is to reduce crime in this county," Luttrell said.

The news conference was called after media reports that Godwin was upset with Luttrell because Memphis City Council member Harold Collins invited the sheriff to talk about putting county sheriff's deputies on Memphis city streets.

Godwin said there's no bad blood between them.

"The last thing I want to do is give the perception that there's a rift here," Godwin said. "I don't want anyone driving a wedge between the Sheriff's Office and the Police Department."
"He and I cannot afford for the public to be interpreting our relationship as being strained," Luttrell added.

This latest development emerged because of heated talks about Memphis police residency requirements.  The Memphis City Council is working to put more police on the streets.

A council member proposed relaxing residency rules to expand the pool of police candidates.  The majority of the council shot down that idea, saying they wanted better efforts to find recruits in Memphis.

"We promote Memphis," Godwin said. "If it's expanded, it's expanded. If it's not, it's not."

Collins maintains he called on the sheriff to show the people of Memphis the Council is looking at every option to put more police on the streets.

Godwin said he's not worried about deputies patrolling in Memphis, because, he said, they're already here.

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