Police Recruits Want To Make Memphis Safe

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Memphis streets are some of the most violent in the country. One officer, a former Marine in Afghanistan, survived the Middle East only to be murdered on Memphis Streets. But fear isn't keeping 151 men and women from becoming police recruits, as Local 24's Mike Matthews explains.

The biggest recruit class in Memphis in almost ten years 151 men and women. Some will be PST'S, Public Service Technicians handling auto accidents, but most will be Memphis Police Officers, if they make it through the academy's recruit training class.

"The academy is not easy," Police Director Mike Rallings told recruits. "Don't quit. Don't quit. Make sure you give it everything you got."

The recruits got a chance to see the modern day tools of crime fighting.  The fancy stuff the helicopter, the trucks, the mounted police.  The most important thing about crime fighting is just doing your job using your head and remembering that Memphis streets are some of the most dangerous streets in the country.

The violence doesn't keep Brandon Williams from wanting to be a cop in his hometown.  "I'm from a family of officers," he says. " I just want to do my duty to make sure this city is what it needs to be. It's a beautiful city. Beautiful people. We need to uphold everything to make sure this city is safe for its citizens."

Many of these recruits are from other cities across the country. They come for the job and once here they'll learn about Memphis the good and the bad. Ryan McNally is from Allentown, Pennsylvania.  "I looked actually at any openings I could get," he says. "I'm going to look to succeed and hopefully keep the best in blue the best in blue."

The pay is ok, not great, not bad, and you are a true public servant in this city. Violence is often only one radio call away, and they know it. Recruit Faith Marshall of Memphis says, "I'm 36 and I've lived in other cities. I'm from Memphis, but lived in other cities Atlanta, Chicago. I was challenged by my family to step up, because I have some concerns about what was going on in the city, and that's exactly what I've done."

The class is the largest in Memphis since 2010. The police department needs about 500 officers to get to the level needed.


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