MEMPHIS, Tenn. (LocalMemphis.com) — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland wants the Memphis Police Department to grow in an effort to reduce crime, and that growth is well on its way.
Mayor Strickland says the data backs up the need. When the department was at its highest number of officers crime was reduced 26%.
That’s why he wants 2,300 officers patrolling the streets by the end of 2020. He believes it will once again reduce crime.
“They do make a difference so everyone has a common sense idea that if we have more police officers out there, it would make a difference. It does. The data shows it and that’s why we’re pushing so hard to hire more police officer,” he said.
Currently, there are 2,085 commissioned police officers. That’s nearing in at 200 more than when Strickland took office.
Strickland used the example of when the department was at its highest with 2,400 officers in 2011. It reduced crime 26% after the city had one of its worst crime incidents in 2006, he said.
The budget for the police department has grown approximately $10 million, Strickland said. That funding also goes to advertising open positions.
The Mayor said he recognized that not everyone agrees that more uniforms are the answer. He described it as a “small group.” He said contrary to that, he believes a majority are in favor of it.
“The vast majority of Memphians want more police officers patrolling the streets, investigating the crime, and the data shows, in Memphis, and in other cities, the more police officers you have, the further down you can drive crime,” Strickland said.
Strickland said his plan to reduce crime also focuses on providing more job opportunities for young adults, second-chance opportunities for people with criminal records and stricter sentences for the most violent and dangerous offenders.