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City Council votes to pass ordinance suspending DROP program

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis City Council has voted to pass an ordinance calling for the suspension of the Deferred Retirement Option Plan program.

The DROP program allows city employees to announce their retirement up to three years in advance while still working on the force and collecting retirement.

In May, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings urged the City Council to continue the freeze on the program, saying it will cause him to lose his front line at a time when he’s trying to rebuild the department.

“We are short supervisors today but we can’t promote because we don’t have enough people at the bottom to fill all those ranks,” he said.

Two years ago, the council voted to allow some DROP participants to suspend their retirement plans.

Each participant then had the option to pursue it again whenever they chose.

On Tuesday, the Memphis City Council has the task of deciding whether those suspensions can continue.

While the police director may be in favor of continuing to freeze the program, the Memphis Police Association said they don’t want to see that happen.

“If the DROP is extended both the morale and retention efforts of the department will suffer,” the organization said in a prepared release.

According to their data, the rejection of an extension of the DROP program “will not in any meaningful way  impact ‘boots on the ground.'”