Mayor-elect talks crime prevention, Toney Armstrong's future

Mayor-elect talks crime prevention, Toney Armstrong's future
Police Director Toney Armstrong (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Police Director Toney Armstrong (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - With a new mayor set to lead Memphis, Police Director Toney Armstrong's future is in question.

Reducing crime was the number one issue in the mayoral election. Jim Strickland won.

Now several citizens are wondering if Director Armstrong is part of Strickland's vision for Memphis.

"I think it's too early to tell," Strickland said. "You know, violent crime is more than the police department. Just as I've said, We have got to be tough on crime; we have got to do something for these young people, so they pick the right path in life and not the wrong path."

Mayor-elect Jim Strickland knows what he's in for when it comes to Memphis' violent crime problem.

"Violent crime is hurting the quality of life of Memphians," Strickland said. "It's hurting the health of Memphis, because we're losing population."

Strickland said there is still a lot to discuss with current police director Toney Armstrong before his team makes any decisions about who will serve in the position going forward.

He said he appointed former Police Director Melvin Burgess, Latino Memphis Director Mauricio Calvo, Attorney Mike Keeney, and General Sessions Court Clerk Travis Green to his Crime and Public Safety Transition Team 

"We'll really focus on driving down violent crime--I outlined it in the the campaign--blue crush and also intervening in the lives of young people." 

But he also knows that fighting crime is only possible if Memphis can continue to attract and keep officers.  

"We have to drastically reduce violent crime and every single day I'm in office I will be focused on that."

Strickland said his team will have policy and personnel decisions made by December. Strickland officially takes office January 1, 2016.

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