MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG has obtained new numbers showing the number of officers who've left the Memphis Police Department in recent years.
According to city officials, 90 officers have left the Memphis Police Department so far in 2018; 49 retired and 37 resigned.
Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams provided insight into why.
"We have individuals that are seeking employment elsewhere. Or they're choosing, 'I can't do this in the city of Memphis and the environment that's out here, and the environment that's being created when it comes to benefits and pay,'" he said of officers who leave the force.
In fact, Williams even says the FBI is recruiting in Memphis, because officers here get so much field experience.
And while that's new, officers leaving is not.
In 2017, 134 officers left the department and in 2016, 142 left, city officials said.
Williams expected the city to reach similar levels by the end of 2018.
"We still have two iterations of individuals who are going to retire, so we'll lose officers through that. And I know for a fact there are still officers who are going to resign," he said.
But he also saw the positive.
"There were years we lost 180-something individuals in one years. So I am aware the numbers are going down," Williams said.
And as Mayor Strickland has said in the past, as that happens the overall size of the department continues to increase.
"It's going to be a multi-year task, but we're moving in the right direction for the first time in seven years," he said at the MPD graduation last month.
Strickland says getting more patrols on the streets responding to calls is the key to decreasing crime.