Request for more deputy patrols denied - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Request for more deputy patrols denied

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Some Memphis City council members who voted 'no' on relaxing residency rules for police officers have been hearing the complaints from the community. 

Tuesday, they asked for additional patrols in the city from the Shelby County Sheriff's Department on a short term basis, but the request was denied.

Top brass at the Memphis Police department are trying to put 400-500 additional officers on the streets.

Two weeks ago, at the last city council meeting, hundreds of people showed to ask for council members' support a resolution relaxing residency requirements for officers, so that newly hired officers could live within 20 miles of Memphis.

The measure failed by a vote of 7 to 6.

Tuesday morning, Councilman Harold Collins - who voted no on relaxing residency requirements tried - getting more officers on the streets from the Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Mark Luttrell did not support the idea.  "We don't have the resources on a long term basis to do that,"  he said.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin voiced opposition to that too, saying it would be a logistical nightmare.

"I will not jeopardize not one Memphis police officer, one Sheriff's Deputy, to get injured over saying we have presence," Godwin said.

Council members Collins and Barbara Swearengen Ware pushed for a 30 or 90 day time frame.  Afterward, Collins said the two agencies eventually have to come together.

"At some point we got to figure out how we can have a joint police protection collaboration," Collins said.

Both Godwin and Luttrell said their agencies work together on several issues, but additional patrols are not there right now.

"What we're facing in Shelby County is what we're facing all across America, and that is increasing demand for services with dwindling resources," Luttrell said.

Tuesday afternoon, City Council members approved minutes from their last meeting, putting issue of residency for police officers to rest until the end of January or early February.

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