“Blue Flu” has little or no impact in Memphis suburbs

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — More Memphis police officers called in sick Monday, part of an apparent protest over pension and benefit changes that have city workers and retires angry.

But so far, there’s been little, if any impact in the Memphis suburbs, especially in DeSoto County.

The benefit and pension fights in Memphis don’t surprise Anthony Tsoukalas one bit. He just moved to Southaven from Detroit.

“Back in Detroit, they were cutting people’s pensions, they were cutting everywhere, they were closing schools. That’s actually one of the reasons I decided to move down here. It’s a little safer and a little better jobs.”

As more Memphis cops called in sick Monday, officers across the state line in Mississippi have noticed, but not in terms of crime crossing the border.

”I wouldn’t expect it to affect us at all. If anything, criminals are going to go where there’s less cops ,not where there’s more cops,” said Southaven Police Chief Tom Long, who also said his officers will continue to patrol along the state line that separates his town from Memphis, as they always have.

”We try to be as visible as we can and we’re gonna maintain that visibility and it’s that visibility that stops most of your criminal activity.”

And that gives residents like Tsoukalas a little piece of mind.

”There’s plenty of stuff going on in Detroit. I lived a little South of it and we never had any issues, and I don’t think there’s gonna be any here either.”

None of the departments we talked to said they planned any additional patrols, but most wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple more patrol cars on suburban streets in the days ahead.