MPD Learning from Fire Dept. on Implementing Cuts

MPD Learning from Fire Dept. on Implementing Cuts

MPD is now looking to cut $6 million from its budget. But before it does, it will let the council and neighborhoods weigh in on the cuts.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - The Memphis Police Department has learned from the fire department's mistakes.

People who live near Fire Station 6 in north Memphis were fired up when they found out it was slated for closure because of budget cuts. City Council members delayed the closure for a month.

MPD is now looking to cut $6 million from its budget. But before it does, it will let the council and neighborhoods weigh in on the cuts.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is somebody who pays attention to what people in the city are saying. His critics say it's a major flaw - you can't govern without angering somebody. But in this case, no longer will residents and council members be the last to know about how budget cuts will affect public safety.

People are waiting to see what plans Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong has to cut almost $6 million from his budget.

According to Mayor Wharton, "He has not submitted any plans in writing."

The mayor is already hearing from a lot of you. Director Armstrong says all of his police stations are at bare minimum levels for staffing. If officers have to go and can't be replaced, the stations can't remain open. He mentioned three of them would close; one of them would be Raines Station in Whitehaven.

The mayor says don't go nuts folks, not yet.

"We got calls saying he's shutting down precincts. What he said was, if things did not change over the course of this year, he may have to look at that. But there's no intent, no plan to close precincts in the police department," Wharton said.

That might be because at this time, nobody has seen any plan from the director on what he's going to do.

"Director Armstrong and his leadership team are in the process of formulating recommendations which we'll share with the council before any of them are moved to implementation."

The city council has no decision making power here. In fact, they ordered the cuts in both the fire and police departments. So if police stations are to be closed, the rules are going to change.

Wharton said, "If that happens the council and the neighborhoods would know first."

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