MPD Budget Gets Early Approval

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(Memphis) A budget committee voted to approve a recommendation for Memphis Police Department’s fiscal year 2014 budget.

“There are no bells and whistles in this budget. 87% of this budget was personnel,” said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.

Councilman Harold Collins voiced his opposition, asking for cuts in a recruitment class and promotional training. Those cuts would save 2.8 million dollars.

“Either that or they are going to have to raise taxes,” said Collins.

The budget will need to be approved by full council before it is final.

Armstrong warned that cuts will have consequences, “When you don't allow me to hire and you don't allow me to put people through the academy then I can't move forward with other promotions. Inevitably it affects our ability to offer services to our citizens."

A plan to restore a 4.6 percent pay cut for police personnel was also approved last week.

However, Mayor A C Wharton’s budget already calls for a tax rate hike without the 4.6.