MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Police Director Michael Rallings are responding after an escort list was confirmed at City Hall.
Last week, WREG reported the city had confirmed the existence of a list for individuals who are required to have a police escort anytime they are conducting business inside City Hall. Approximately 84 people are on that list.
On Monday, Mayor Strickland spoke to the media about the list saying he had no knowledge of the entire list before a couple of days ago. He said it was created years ago prior to his becoming mayor.
According to the mayor, there are in fact two lists: one is an Authorization of Agency, which was put into place after a recent "die in" at the mayor's house.
"When the people trespassed on my property and looked in the window when my wife and children were home... Before that I had pushed back against MPD on some security matters for my family. At that point, I talked to the director and said, 'Well, maybe you're right. Maybe we do need some more security at the house,' and they suggested an Authorization of Agency. They came up with a list of names and I signed it," the mayor said.
That list, the mayor said, was subsequently added to the second list which was an escort list. Again he reiterated he didn't even know that list existed.
"I have asked our police director-- who I trust whole heartedly-- to review the whole procedure."
Several hours later, Director Rallings posted a video response, saying "the accusation of anyone being banned from City Hall are inaccurate."
"It is the duty of the Memphis Police Department to maintain the peace and safety for all individuals who work and/or visit City Hall...Precautionary measures are nothing new," he stated.
All individuals who enter the building are required to identify themselves, their business at City Hall and go through metal detectors, Director Rallings stated. In addition, some -- like disgruntled former employees, anyone who poses a security concern, anyone who endorsed potential statements of unlawful behavior and anyone named on an authorization of agency -- are required to have an escort to their destination.
"This is not a politically-motivated stance. Again, the precautionary measures have been in place for many years. Let me be clear, escorted individuals are not banned from entering the building," he went on to say.
The Director said the list is currently under review and could change.