News Update

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Early this morning, we celebrated a major milestone in our collective efforts to rebuild the Memphis Police Department -- we welcomed 151 recruits to the MPD Training Academy, the largest class since 2010.

Police Recruiting Class

This is a great step in our goal to restore our police staffing, which has fallen in recent years. With another class set to start in August, our goal is for this to be the year the tide turns.

We’ve spent countless hours on this. I thank Police Director Michael Rallings and his staff, and Chief Human Resources Officer Alex Smith and her staff.

I also want to make sure you understand this: We won’t see these officers on the streets immediately. We may not even see all of them graduate the class.

That’s for good reason: Training for the officers lasts five months. And it is demanding. The best of the best of our officer recruits will graduate Aug. 11, which means we’ll be putting well-trained officers in our neighborhoods. Police Service Technicians will graduate next month and will help relieve the pressure on officers by handling matters such as traffic.

Restoring our police staffing is not the only thing we’re doing to combat violent crime. As I’ve said before, if someone tells you that, then they’re not listening.

We’ve increased what we do for our young people, such as the hundreds who took part in our spring break camps last week.

We’re continuing to work hard on economic development, and we’re helping people expunge their records.

But restoring police staffing is the No. 1 thing the administration can do to fight violent crime in the short term. I’m proud of the men and women who have raised their hands to serve our city, and I hope everyone will join us today in thanking MPD by expressing your gratitude on social media with the hashtag #ThankYouMPD.

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