MPD Director Armstrong Talks About His Retirement

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(Memphis) Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said he's ready to try new things, and that's why he decided he will retire in 2017.

Armstrong signed up for the city's Deferred Retirement Option Plan, better known as DROP.

The program allows anyone of retirement age and with at least 25 years of service to call it quits early and collect a lump sum on a one to three year schedule.

He'll retire in 2017, which is his 28th year with MPD.

Armstrong will be first to admit his job isn't easy.

"You cringe at night when the phone rings, because you don't know who's on the other end of the phone. My shop never closes. It's 24 hours a day, seven days a week," he said.

Armstrong assured WREG that's not why he's retiring early.

"I'm not frustrated. Let me be clear about that," he said. "Three years is a long time. I'm still going to show up every day and do what I've done the past 25 years."

The mayor is proposing health care and retirement cuts to pay for an estimated $700 million unfunded pensions.

The Memphis Police Union said Armstrong's retirement reflects the uncertainty officers and city employees have for their future.

"There was going to be a retirement at some point. I was not going to do this indefinitely. I have always wanted to be able to leave this job with my health and strength," said Armstrong.

He will be 50 years old when he retires, and said he'll be ready to try new things and spend more time with his family.

"It's too early right now to focus on the next chapter, but I'll tell you right now there will be another chapter," said Armstrong.

Right now, the city doesn't know what his retirement benefits will be.

Armstrong said he will make sure the transition will be smooth.


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