Austin Police Department tries to swoop up Memphis officers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Recruiters with the police department in Austin, Texas are in town looking for new employees.

Memphis Police Association leaders told us a lot of officers are interested after the city changed their benefits.

“Dallas has been here. Aurora, Colorado was here a couple of weeks ago. Louisville was here and Nashville,” said Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams.

Austin Police will  set up shop at the Memphis Police Association hoping to find any current officers willing to move.

“This is going to turn into a training ground. You are going to have officers who citizens pay $70,000 to train, and then once they get the training, they go other places,” said Williams.

Williams said after the city hiked health care costs for retirees to pay for the pension, more and more officers are leaving the department.

“Today, we also lost about three to five guys to work at the railroads,” said Williams.

Tuesday, Mayor A C Wharton said he would hate to see anyone leave, “We will not hold that against them. They have families to look out for. They have to do what’s best for themselves. I understand.”

“We can say, ‘I understand. We know they are leaving,’ but why are we paying $70,000 to train them, and these other cities are getting our well-trained officers?” said Williams.

The Austin Police Department will be at the MPA building in downtown Memphis starting at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Williams said the MPA has always helped officers find new opportunities.


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