Memphis Police Association Taking Protest To The Streets

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Hoping to get support of people who live in Memphis, the Police Association is taking their campaign to restore health insurance benefits to the streets. Local 24's Mike Matthews has the story.

You've seen the billboards; the ones that Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland can't stand.  Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams wonders how the mayor would like a billboard that thanks him for caring about his employees by bringing back health insurance benefits.

He knows workers in the city's other unions would love it.  "Well yeah," he said, "... I mean you're talking about health care. It affects them as well, you know?"

The Association has invited the other city unions to a gathering next week, a "Wake Up Memphis" rally. Memphis City Council members will be the ones who decide whether to restore benefits, and some, like Councilman Ed Ford Junior, don't hold back when they show their opposition. "You know the answer to that," he says. " You're trying to be facetious."

To win back benefits, Williams realizes he will need more than just meetings with the City Council. "I think its very crucial that the citizens come together in all of this," he says. "There are so many issues going on in this city, that I think its time to hold our city accountable." Williams ran for Mayor against Jim Strickland a year and a half ago, and folks inside the Mayor's office claim all of his demands are nothing more than rhetoric for another campaign. 

This hasn't reached a total stalemate, not yet.  "A contingent from our office had a meeting with the Mayor yesterday," Williams said." He wont talk about it, only to say "I'm  going to leave it alone for awhile. Hopefully some things can come out of that meeting, but that still remains to be seen."


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