MPD Officers and Families Protest Working Conditions

(Memphis) A graphic picture of a shot Memphis police officer laying on the ground isn`t real, but it could be. The Memphis Police Association wants to remind people that officers put their lives at risk every day and they are doing it despite a 4.6 percent hit to their paychecks.

“It is a lot,” said Christina Williams, a wife of an MPD officer. Her family was in a crowd of dozens that stood out in the snow at the busy corner of Poplar and Highland Saturday. They want to raise awareness to the 2011 cuts the city council made to help fight a multi-million dollar budget gap.

“We are trying to get back on our feet the way we were before. It`s taken some time to get used to adjust,” said Christina Williams.

Despite freezing temperatures, the crowd found ways to stay warm to support their cause. A cause that also includes fighting for officer`s health benefits. Recently the city started talking about cutting back on those too, which is disturbing for the mom of 2 boys.

“What if one of them gets sick? That`s more money that comes out of our pockets to do other things,” said Christina Williams.

“They are giving this city away,” said Mike Williams with the Memphis Police Association. He believes the cuts don`t just hurt officers.

“Public safety affects everybody in this city not just the rich or the poor. We need to determine what`s our priorities,” said Williams.

10-year-old Logan usually spends his Saturdays playing video games, but this Saturday he held up a sign.

“Do you understand what all of this means?” asked News Channel 3.

“No!” replied Logan. But Logan says he knows he is supporting his dad, an MPD officer.

“He takes care of me and all that when my mom is not home. If someone is bullying me at school, he takes care of it and all that,” said Logan.

That`s the same man he says takes care of others in the city. The Association says this protest is just the first event in a long campaign they have called “Wake up Memphis.”