MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tuesday marks one year since Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis became the first woman to serve as a top cop for MPD, but not everyone is happy with the progress she has made or hasn't made.
Back in July, DeCarcerate Memphis sent an open letter to the chief asking the chief to complete 10 actionable items before she reached 100 days in her role. Those demands included mandatory crisis intervention training for all MPD officers and deprioritizing citations.
Shortly after that letter was sent out they met with chief Davis, but it wasn't until ABC24 reached out to MPD about it that the group got a response from the department.
Now, a year later, Chelsea Glass, a member of the coalition, said they haven't heard from her since that meeting despite the chief publicly claiming she's been working with the group.
"Meeting with us has not been a priority of hers," Glass said.
Emails show DeCarcerate Memphis reached Chief Davis three times since their first meeting almost a year ago, but Davis never responded. They've been trying to work with her to help reform the Memphis Police Department.
Glass said they expected Chief Davis to shake up the status quo in Memphis after she testified about police reform on capitol hill following George Floyd's murder.
"We were cautiously optimistic in the beginning, but now, a year later, we are really just disappointed," Glass said. "I think she had a really great opportunity to come to Memphis and meet the community and see the need to rise to that occasion."
Some of the changes they want include holding public monthly meetings with the chief, deprioritizing petty citations for things like a broken tail light or loud music, and ending costs associated with getting body camera footage and records.
Glass said all of the organization's demands would ultimately make the city better.
"DeCarcerate Memphis is an organization that understands and takes violence very seriously," Glass said. "We are not ignoring it because it's all a part of the process. incarcerating in mass is violent, incarnating people though fines and fees is a violent process."
Davis has always said decreasing crime is her priority. Over the last year, she had added new units and task forces and put on several hiring expos to get more officers on the streets.
In a city council meeting last month, Davis said her effort is the reason there's been a 4% reduction in overall crime incidents so far this year. But despite the decline in crime, Glass said there are other ways to stop crime, and adding more patrol units throughout the city isn't the answer.
"We have not seen a true investment in the people of Memphis," Glass said. "Without those investments and city leaders putting money where their mouth is we are not going to see change."
ABC24 reached out to MPD for a statement from Chief Davis on the group's criticism and to see if they have plans to act on DeCarcerate Memphis' request. An MPD spokesperson responded saying the group should send an email to the department if they want to meet with her again.