Memphis City Council may ask voters to decide where Memphis police officers and firefighters are allowed to live

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( – Will the third time be the charm for Memphis police and firefighters? It looks like Memphis voters will vote, once again, on whether police and firefighters should be required to live in Memphis.

In 2004, voters said cops needed to live within the city limits. Five years later, they spread it out to all of Shelby County. Now, the mayor and the police director say they can get more recruits if they let officers live up to two hours away, but some council members say that would create more problems.

“My contention is we would have an influx, or an outflux, of people with high-paying jobs leaving the city and further exacerbating our poverty rate,” said Memphis City Councilman Martavius Jones.

“Impoverished people are most often victimized by crime. Impoverished people need their police department more than just about anyone,” Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said.

If the city council approves putting the residency question on the ballot, you’ll get a chance to vote on it in November of next year. 

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