New task force hopes to get more officers on the streets
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Memphis Police Department needs 750 new officers by 2011 to reach the goal of 2,600 officers. Thursday night, a task force of city council members, members who voted both ways on relaxing the residency requirements, will look all methods to get those more officers on the streets.
Harold Collins, Bill Boyd, Edmund Ford Jr, Bill Morrison, Janis Fulllove and Kemp Conrad make up the task force hoping to get more Memphis police officers on the streets.
"We need 750 in two short years. Everybody's bought into that number, okay. So even if we triple the number of annual applicants we're still short," Conrad said.
Collins is serving as the committee chair
"This council committee will come back with some recommendations that I believe will have...I hope will have a 10-3 passes or 13-0 passes," Collins said.
A 7-6 vote along racial lines has happened both previous times council members this year have pushed to relax the residency requirements.
One issue being considered is Councilman Bill Morrison's plan, first reported on Action News Five last week.
It includes hiring bonuses, relocation packages, and a college loan repayment for new officers.
Collins insists all options including other compromises made by all council members are on the table.
"Hopefully we can come to some sort of consensus and provide that to the council and do our job as legislators and take responsibility for this," Collins said.
"Not just address residency, but also what we can do better locally. But also how we can better recruit from other municipalities where officers are being laid off," Conrad said.
Residency and recruitment of police officers, a tall task for Memphis council members looking for the next generation of law enforcement.
Right now, Memphis officers can live anywhere within Shelby County. But that time frame to live within the county is set to expire in February.
The committee is expected to address that issue as well.