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Gov. Bill Lee's state budget proposal aims to crack down on Memphis crime

The Tennessee governor announced his proposed state budget Wednesday, including the addition of 20 state troopers in Shelby County.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced his proposed budget Wednesday, and includes plans to fund 20 additional Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers for Shelby County. 

Gov. Lee will be in Memphis on Thursday to do a ride-along with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Memphis Police Department.

“Violent crime has no place in Tennessee, period," Lee said. "To immediately strengthen public safety, we have to invest in evidence-based crime prevention methods and continue efforts to recruit and retain qualified law enforcement officers." 

"I commend the Memphis Police Department for their work to protect neighborhoods across the city and look forward to our continued partnership."

Gov. Lee’s Fiscal Year 22-23 budget proposes public safety investments, including crime prevention methods aimed to directly support Memphis and Shelby County.   

"This is great news and something we’ve been working towards for a long time," said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. "I was in Nashville earlier today and had the chance to thank Governor Lee in person. I’m looking forward to our continued partnership."

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The new budget would add 20 additional Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers for Shelby County funded by the state, as well as $30 million to support relocation bonuses for out-of-state police officers seeking to move to Tennessee.

"I welcome any assistance from Tennessee Highway Patrol in helping to patrol the interstates around Memphis and Shelby County," said Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr.

Lee's budget proposal also calls for the expansion of state funding for law enforcement basic training and increasing the frequency of training for new recruits.

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It would also provide access to a statewide hiring portal that includes qualified law enforcement recruits from outside of Tennessee who are looking to relocate.

The proposal will go through the Tennessee House of Representatives to be voted on. 

Read more about Gov. Lee’s statewide public safety agenda here.

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