Changes Coming Within MPD

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(Memphis) Tuesday, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong introduced a new plan to a city council committee he hopes will keep Memphians safer.

The police department is restructuring how it responds to calls and where officers will work.

"They are either en route to a call, or clearing a call," said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.

He says the way MPD is set up now, officers don't have time to patrol the streets.

Instead of being proactive in the fight against crime they are reactive.

Armstrong believes it's partially because the officers aren't evenly spread out across the city, "As it is right now, we have precincts that have four wards, we have precincts that have eight wards."

To evenly distribute the work load, each of the nine police precincts will control six wards and have the same amount of officers working at those precincts.

But the number of officers for each ward will be different.

" It gives us the ability to manage our personnel better. It gives us the ability to manage our resources batter," expressed Armstrong.
Precinct boundaries are also being re-drawn.

Armstrong says it will also improve response time for officers heading to crime scenes. 

The changes are expected to take place, January 1st.

Councilman Joe Brown says the structure of the precincts is not the problem when it comes to fighting crime in the city, " We need more personnel. That`s a reality. The only way you can be proactive is if you have the personnel and that is the problem in the city of Memphis."

Armstrong believes this will help.

He and the department have studied the change for the last year.