MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The death of George Floyd is one of several incidents this year raising questions about the use of police force. That’s why Memphis’ top cop called on the residents across the city to make their voices heard by filling out the use of force survey.
So far, Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said, only 4,000 residents have responded, in a city with a population of a little more than 600,000. The last time the city did this survey was back in 2017, but at the time, Rallings said they did not make any changes.
Three years laters, Rallings said things are different now. He said there is a renewed focus on how law enforcement interacts with the public.
Rallings said this is a way to hear from everyone in a way that can produce tangible results.
“This is the year to do it, and I just hope while we have the spotlight on law enforcement that we take time out to do something proactive,” Rallings said.
The survey takes you through you several scenarios and asks you what kind of actions you feel are appropriate for an officer to take. Director Rallings say it is a way to bridge the gap between the public, and its expectations of police officers.
“This is an opportunity to help us develop training, modify policy, see if we need to better communicate to the community on police use of force,” Rallings said.
Rallings added, “This is a proactive way for us to hear from our citizens where we’re not reacting to some viral video. We’re trying to get ahead of and avoid some type of situation like that.”
Memphis city council member JB Smiley, Jr. has been one of the elected leaders calling for police reform. He said the survey is a step in the right direction but said it may take offline efforts for a better response.
“I would commend Director Rallings for getting the conversation started and attempting to amend or make changes to certain policies, but if we want to increase that number we have to meet people where they are,” Smiley Jr. said.
The survey closes on Thursday. To access the survey, click here.
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