Legislators propose bill that would eliminate residency requirement - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Legislators propose bill that would eliminate residency requirement

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Two Tennessee state legislators unveiled a plan Tuesday in front of Memphis City Hall that would go over the heads of Memphis City Council members to force the city to drop its residency requirement for police officers.

Right now, the Memphis Police Department has at least 200 positions it can't fill because of the residency requirement. 

After the Memphis City Council recently voted along racial lines to keep the residency requirement, Republican State Representative Brian Kelsey and Democratic Senator Reginald Tate believe it is time to bypass the Council.

"If the City Council refuses to act to on the city level, then we are just going to act for them on the state level,"  Kelsey said. "If they won't do their jobs, then I will do their jobs for them."

The bill would eliminate residency requirements for full-time or part-time law enforcement officers in cities with more than 2,000 full-time officers. 

It also penalizes cities that don't abide by taking all cash and revenue from confiscated property.  The Memphis Police Department receives around $3 million from seizures.
The bill can't be considered until February.

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