Memphis Police Budget under Scrutiny by City Council

Memphis Police Budget under Scrutiny by City Council

For the first time in years people started talking about cutting the Memphis Police Department's budget; it's something that was unheard of years ago.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis City Council members are starting to show their tempers as they deal with what to do with the upcoming budget. Mayor A C Wharton wants a 28 cent property tax increase, but some council members say it could be a lot worse than that.

For the first time in years people started talking about cutting the Memphis Police Department's budget; it's something that was unheard of years ago.

"I think cuts are needed in every budget," said Councilman Shea Flinn. "I think people do misunderstand what is happening to our taxes this year; it is potentially devastating."

The police department budget cuts that some want to see wouldn't directly affect the day to day operations. That's the important part of the deal, according to Councilman Harold Collins.

"We're not taking boots off the street. We're not taking guns and bullet proof vests out of their cars."

What they're talking about is paying for one recruiting class for the upcoming year. The police want money for three classes. But since each recruit class takes eight months from start to finish, Collins says they don't need three million dollars for the new hires - maybe one and a half million.

Plus, don't forget a council impasse committee recommended that police get the 4.6 percent pay cut restored.

There used to be a daily double in Memphis government. Whatever you gave the cops you had to give the firefighters; they were joined at the paycheck.

There's a very good chance that this year that will change, and it won't be very pretty if it does.

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