Some Officers say Booking Process Takes Too Long

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(Memphis) They say its inhumane for those under arrest and a safety concern for the rest of us.

Some Memphis police officers say there's been a major slow down at 201 Poplar when it comes to booking people under arrest.

They say the delay has become a disincentive to make arrests.

When officers arrest someone, they drive them to 201 Poplar and wait in line to get them booked.

They say the process used to take about 45 minutes but for the last six weeks it’s taken as long as three hours.

Officers have to wait in their cars with their suspect in handcuffs.

“There is a step-by-step process that every individual that is booked goes through,” said Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Chip Washington.

Washington gave us a tour of the booking area where suspects are wanded, scanned, fingerprinted and sent to holding cells.

He says the reason things have slowed down recently can be explained, “I think it means the law enforcement is doing their job."

He says law enforcement has put more sobriety check points in place around the city and police have saturated hot spots of high crime.

Washington says that means bringing-in more people all at once to jail,  “We’ve had instances where there was four or maybe fifty, sixty people.”

It means officers, and suspects in handcuffs, are forced to wait longer to get their turn in jail, "It may be a little inconvenient because we've made some arrests and taken some dangerous folks off the street but I think in the end it is for the greater good.”

Washington says the police department and sheriff's office have quarterly meetings to discuss ways to make things more efficient and this issue will be on their next agenda.