Officers say there aren’t enough of them on the streets

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- There’s concern about a shortage of police officers on the streets of Memphis.

Officers say precinct wards are at a critical low when it comes to the number of officers patrolling to protect you.

The Memphis Police Association says some wards often only have one officer on duty, and sometimes, none at all.

“We don't have enough officers,” said Mike Williams, president of the Memphis Police Association.

Officers tell WREG it's not uncommon for only one officer to be covering an entire ward, when the standard should be at least two officers.

MPD reports no wards are left uncovered and will hold officers to work overtime if needed, but Williams says some wards are being left with no police coverage at all.

Officers tell WREG they end up not wanting to respond to violent offenses in progress, because they don't know how long it will be until back-up gets there.

“A lot of times we have to react during a split second and it’s hard when you have to second guess yourself and second guess your safety,” said Williams.

Williams said Memphis could be considered at a critical low when it comes to officers.

“Officers are leaving because they don`t see a future here in the city of Memphis."

Now that the city council approved its budget cuts and reduced retirees' benefits, increased premiums on health insurance and eliminated insurance for spouses already employed, Williams said it’s going to be even more difficult to replace the 300 officers we are already down.

“A lot of these guys are stressed out because they are asking them to do more with less.”

“We need them for protection and they should give them whatever they want or what they need,” said Yvonne Pittman, a Whitehaven resident.

Pittman lives in the Raines precinct, an area where police get about 100,000 calls for help each year.

Williams said right now Raines is not fully staffed by our men in blue

“It makes me feel lousy, scared and unsure,” said Pittman.

We asked MPD how many new recruit classes are going on right now. Their answer was ‘none.’


  • D.Slayer

    There is NO future here, and those who risked their life’s and health here have had that robbed also!!!!!

    • canadianwhiskeygirl

      just to thInk…smh….at one tIme I toyed wIth the Idea of tryn to get on wIth the cIty…smh

  • Pam

    You know what else is down every year since 2008… Crime in Memphis. Maybe we just don’t need so many Gang Members With Badges anymore.

  • Hard Truths

    Thanks, Willie!

    What are our 20 Fruit of Islam bodyguards up to these days, Willie?

    Are they cops? How many have gone to prison?

  • Bill

    Did you see pictures of the stand off last week, there were thousands of cops surrounding the house. We’ve got enough Police and Fire, few actually work, the one’s that do (you desreve a raise) I appreciate your eforts keeping us safe. For the most part the Police and Fire don’t generate a profit, so, SEE YA! GPS on all Police and Fire.

  • Bill

    Here’s 10 things I’ll do when I’m elected mayor;
    1. Cut 10% of the City work force
    2. Reduce all 6 figure salaries to 5.
    3. Freeze Property Taxes for my term
    4. Have rolling Curfews for high crime neighborhoods by Zip codes.
    5. De-annex Hickory Hill and Cordova.
    6. Stop the Minority requirements for City bids.
    7. Create a City Department that inspects all Rental properties(like a home inspector) for renters. The fee is paid by the Landlords.
    8. Vacant properties are taxed at 2X the current property tax rates. Vacant means an occupancy rate of less than 80% per address for a Calendar year.
    9. Reduce the MATA routes by 50% and make Tuesdays a ride free day for all Memphians.
    10. No new development contracts for Developers.

  • Jim

    I don’t blame the officers one bit for leaving. This city is going to inevitably self destruct rather you like it or not. It won’t be long before they have to declare a state of emergency due to the shortage of officers.

  • bambam84

    Yawns. Yes, we know. There aren’t “enough,” officers on the street. Even though you can’t turn around without seeing one lately.
    What they mean to say is,”There are not enough officers on the street for us to keep jacking up granted funds, payroll, and equipment pay (even though last was posted, the meter readers on top of the cars do NOT work. And they need more MONEY to fix THAT issue.)
    This whole thing has been about THEIR revenue from the start. It always is.
    I had to Lol at the tag: “GOOD COPS.” Lol. Snickers. GOOD cops respond to EVERYTHING and WAIT for backup. Smh.

  • atjohnson

    We shouldn’t have to continue to pump money into protecting ourselves. That’s a huge waste. This city should be able to invest in infrastructure and desirable destinations for locals and tourists. Why spend money when the problem could be solved by people learning to control themselves, their emotions and greed…which all lead to crime.

  • akismet-857290769408244c9ae34e9eda9e6a36

    I left this department almost 8 years ago because we saw this coming. A city council and Mayor that doesn’t care about it’s citizen describes Memphis. The out of control crime (Memphis always being in the top most violent cities), police corruption because officers aren’t paid well and over worked.

    At least the Mayor has new Cadillac.

    I’m so glad I left Memphis when I did, I feel sorry for the retired officers and the officers that are stuck.

  • tigrenoir44

    The MPD has too many criminals in their own ranks. To “Serve and Protect” irefers to themselves.

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