Will benefit cuts affect recruitment for most dangerous job in Memphis?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The most elite branch of the Memphis Police Department welcomed eight new officers Friday.

Major Sam Hines, the TACT commander, addressed the graduates at Friday’s ceremony, saying, “Today you become members of a very special, unique, and most elite branch of the Memphis Police Department, bar none.”

The officers have a very serious job ahead of them on the TACT unit, but Friday they were all smiles. This was the first TACT class in two years. Thirty-seven officers tried out, but only eight made it through.

Terrell Myrick was one of the surviving eight.

“It was a struggle mentally and physically. But I endured, and came out at the winning end.”

That’s putting it lightly. These officers are put through the ringer, including jumping out of helicopters into the water. But it’s all for good reason – they have to be ready for anything.

Hines said they have “to be able to shoot, to be able to swim to be able to run. To be able to carry the gear, and have the snipers, and the assault team and perimeter team.”

It’s a high-risk job, and in the middle of this year’s training, the city decided to cut its benefits package to all city employees, even the ones with the most dangerous job in the city.

Major Hines doesn’t think these cuts will affect the number of officers seeking to be TACT unit members.

“I think anyone who has ever had a desire to be in here, if they see the opportunity they are going to take it, because it doesn’t come every day.”

Fellow TACT members told these officers they may have passed the test, but the real work starts now. The graduates tell us they’re ready.

Myrick said, “They were very detailed with the training. they were on us tough. they made sure when we graduated that school, we were the best.”



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