Memphis officials hoping to improve transparency between public, MPD with launch of new website

Memphis officials hoping to improve transparency between public, MPD with launch of new website
Memphis Police on the scene of the shooting on Gleason Street.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - More of what the Memphis Police Department does will be trackable online.

“In an effort to continue building our trust with the public. I’m happy to announce we have created a new website,” said Mayor Jim Strickland alongside Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Strickland announcing the launch of www.reimagine.memphistn.gov.

Memphis mayor and police director announce new website seeking input from citizens about police reform

The launch of the website is all about improving transparency between the public and the Memphis Police Department. The website includes MPD’s policies, procedures and President Barack Obama’s six pillars of 21st century policing.

“This website will allow anyone to submit questions, suggestions and general feedback and how we can be better,” said Strickland.

The website also provides valuable information about MPD, such as, in 2019 there were 423 disciplinary actions taken against officers resulting in one termination.

There was also a 27% decrease in the number of use of force complaints in 2019 over the previous year.

“I hope it creates more transparency. I think it’s a start,” said Cardell Orrin who is the executive director of Stand for Children Tennessee. His group was one of the 150 non-profits that sent a list of eight demands to the mayor regarding criminal justice reform such as giving the citizen review board or CLERB more power, banning chokeholds and duty to report if an officer witnesses another officer using excessive force.

Out of the group’s eight demands, Strickland says that he only “wholly” disagreed with one demand which was reducing the MPD’s budget.

“As I have said many times, we are hundreds of officers short of where we need to be,” said Strickland.

However, Orrin disagrees with the mayor.

“The solution seems to be that we need a certain amount of commissioned officers and part of what we’re saying is addresses the needs of our community without meeting that number with other resources and tools that we hope part of this reimagining will consider,” said Orrin.

The Memphis non-profit group says re-allocating some of MPD’s $263 million budget to health and crisis response is a better option with a greater return on their investment.

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