Public Fears for Safety with Millions in MPD Budget Cuts

Public Fears for Safety with Millions in MPD Budget Cuts

The Memphis Police Department is facing deep cuts. The department needs to cut almost $6 million from its budget.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - The Memphis Police Department is facing deep cuts. The department needs to cut almost $6 million from its budget.

The city council said to make cuts; they were told by MPD Director Toney Armstrong he thought he could do it without jeopardizing your safety.

Some of you are beginning to doubt that.

Mayor A C Wharton says up to three precincts could possibly close.

Police stations are considered fixtures in Memphis neighborhoods. Raines Station is one of those places, situated in the middle of Whitehaven.

It's a place people rely on, and the message from residents is don't even think of closing this place.

Bret Thompson, who lives in Whitehaven, said, "You know what that means. That means we are in big trouble out here in Whitehaven."

Not yet. If there's any trouble that is starting to pop up, it's coming from not knowing what's going to happen.

"In this area, anyway, we need more police officers, not close the station and have to go somewhere else. It would take a long response time," noted Lorraine Rosemond.

The vast majority of the people of Whitehaven have a good relationship with the police department. The neighborhood has been working for years to get rid of crime that pops up in certain spots here. They've been doing a pretty good job, and that's why some say if precincts shut down things could change.

"We've had some serious issues at some of the apartment complexes around here," stated Leo Kolheim. "If they moved the precinct out then I think that leaves people at risk."

The cuts in police were ordered by the Memphis City Council when they approved a new budget.

According to Councilman Harold Collins, "We asked the director specifically if these cuts would endanger the citizens of Memphis or cause any persons to be laid off or fired. He assured us that wouldn't happen. So we have to trust them at their word."

Director Armstrong has been off all week. He returns to work Monday and says he'll talk about his plan then.

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