Council creates plan to attract new officers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Council creates plan to attract new officers

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis City Council members found common ground amid a broiling controversy Tuesday, as a council committee unanimously gave the green light to a number of actions to entice police officers to Memphis.

The big vote involved the hiring process.  After months of accusations that African American police recruits were being discriminated against, for the first time, Councilman Harold Collins told fellow council members the real problem is that it's taking too long to conduct screenings and background checks.

"The committee found that we lose a lot of the most qualified applicants because those applicants have other opportunities, and that there should be a plan in place to address the backlog," Collins said.

Human Resources Director Dr. Lorene Essex, says it can take eight months to hire an officer.
"We are planning to work with and talk with the CAO and look for opportunities for using third-party vendors in helping us in expediting the process," Essex said.

Council members then passed a resolution to fast track applications.

Another resolution passed Tuesday will implement a $5,000 college loan forgiveness for potential officers, as well as officer relocation expenses.

The third resolution passed authorizes the city to pay up to $10,000 in housing down payments for working officers who live in their home five years.

The full council will vote on the officer incentives package at its next meeting.

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