Police Director Speaks Out Against Union's Billboards

Police Director Speaks Out Against Union's Billboards

The Memphis Police Association posted billboards that warn visitors, "Enter at your own risk. The city does not support public safety,” two weeks ago. Now, MPD’s top cop is talking publicly about his displeasure with the message.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - It's a battle over billboards. The Memphis Police Association posted billboards that warn visitors, "Enter at your own risk. The city does not support public safety,” two weeks ago. Now, MPD’s top cop is talking publicly about his displeasure with the message.

"I don’t agree with their tactics,” said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.

The Memphis Police Association says they had no other choice but to put up these billboards since the city won't return the 4.6 percent police pay cuts.

"I had to pray about it because it's not something I really wanted to do or the association wanted to do, but when you have our backs up against the wall then you leave us with no other option,” said MPA President Mike Williams.

There are nine of these billboards all around town and more may be on the way. Williams says he has no plans on taking them down. Director Armstrong says he doesn't like the billboards but won't order them to be taken down.

"I've expressed my displeasure with the billboards. I understand their reasoning for doing it. I don't think it was an appropriate action to take,” said Director Armstrong. “It has a negative effect on our city. I think it has a negative effect on our police department. It contradicts what we're all about."

"We have no ill will feelings against the director for making that comment. He’s supposed to make that comment and we support him 100-percent,” said Williams. "At some point we have to take our heads out of the sand and sometimes the truth hurts."

Williams says the billboards will stay there as long as it takes for the city and the police union to come to an agreement. On Friday the police association will meet with city council to talk about budget, pay, and benefits.
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