MPD Widow Protests Police Pay Cuts

MPD Widow Protests Police Pay Cuts

The widow of a Memphis police officer is angry at city council's budget mess. The wife of fallen officer Timothy Warren is urging city council to restore the police and fire 4.6 percent pay cuts.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - The widow of a Memphis police officer is angry at city council's budget mess. The wife of fallen officer Timothy Warren is urging city council to restore the police and fire 4.6 percent pay cuts.

Betsy Warren says when her husband was killed in the line of duty two years ago she had a new mission in life: fight for all Memphis police and firefighters. She says she's not leaving City Hall until city council hears why they need to fully reinstate their pay.

"My husband gave his life for this city, that 4.6 was taken out before I got his pension; I don't get that 4.6 back," she says.

By 7 a.m. Tuesday, Betsy Warren and her two children, 10-year old James and 6-year old Jewel, had set up camp outside of City Hall. Her message was clearly stated on poster boards, "Police and firefighter wives and children care about what happens to this city."

"Half of Memphis police officers and firefighters can't afford daycare. My husband had to work two jobs just to make ends meet with me working full time, and now it's just me by myself and I'm living off the pension, barely," Warren says. "It's extremely difficult."

Her husband Timothy worked for Memphis and Shelby County law enforcement for more than a decade. He gave the ultimate sacrifice on the 4th of July weekend in 2011. Officer Warren was shot and killed answering a domestic dispute at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Memphis.

Jewel says she drew a big, colorful heart on the sidewalk so her dad can see it from heaven. "One time we wished that our dad would come back and then we wished it all together and those were some great times," she says.

Mrs. Warren says if the city continues to punish the police and fire departments, it will not only hurt the families they support, but also local businesses.

"If businesses leave, your city is dead," Warren says. "The citizens of Memphis need to get down here and show their support, otherwise they're going to see this happen, they're going to see this turn into the next Detroit."

The Warren family hopes city council will see their posters bright and early before they decide to bring down the ax on those who risk their lives keeping you safe.

"They both put their lives on the line… and the city council wants to take more?!"

Betsy Warren says she will be at the city council's meeting, which starts at 3:30 p.m. She's hoping they'll give her a chance to speak to tell her story and reinstate those salary cuts.

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