MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings retires in less than a month and the city is in the process of interviewing seven candidates but has yet to narrow down their selection.
Rallings said he hopes the city will support whoever replaces him, something he felt he didn’t have much of.
“God bless you, you know this is a tough, tough job,” said Rallings who is set to retire April 14.
”My advice for the chief is to be humble, you know love more than you want to, you know fight because sometimes it’s a battle,” he said.
Rallings referenced his role in advocating for more police officers since he took on the position of director to express how he experienced a lack of support.
“I just don’t think that we as a community have given Mayor Strickland the support; I know I don’t feel that way to solve these very difficult problems,” said Rallings.
When it comes to Memphis’ growing crime rate Rallings also said without support it will be very difficult for a new police director to tackle.
”Whoever the next police director is will certainly not be able to do it by themselves without the support of the community and always call out the clergy. We have more churches in Memphis. Clergy, y’all gone have to step up your game,” said Rallings.
Rallings continued to say he has a problem with people not speaking up about the growing crime rate in Memphis.
“If there’s a controversial officer-involved shooting, instant protest; babies killed, 330 Memphians killed, silence. I have a problem with that,” said Rallings.
Rallings has said several times that he took on the role of director during a time of protest and is leaving during a pandemic as a way of referencing his five years.
The city used the International Association of Chiefs of Police to find candidates, interviews are happening now and a decision is expected next month.
The Memphis mayor chooses the police director and the city council says yes or no on the choice.