Weekly Update: Police Reforms

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Four weeks ago, our administration committed to meeting each week with a group of community activists and clergy members to listen and learn about ways we can improve our Memphis Police Department and its relationship with the public.

I’m happy to say that over the last four weeks, I did a lot of listening and a lot of learning.

I’m grateful for our clergy members and the leaders, specifically DeVante Hill and Frank Gotti, and the participants of the peaceful protests we’ve been having and what they represent.

Additionally, I am very thankful to our Director, Mike Rallings, Deputy Director, Michael Ryall, and the men and women of the Memphis Police Department for what they do every day to protect and serve our city.

Over the last four weeks, our group agreed to focus our discussions mainly on police reforms, and we found consensus in six areas. Our administration agreed to:

1. Implementation of the “8 Can’t Wait” rules

2. MPD Ban on no-knock search warrants
MPD agrees to ban no-knock search warrants.

3. Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) Improvements
Our administration will locate additional funding within the budget to increase funding for CLERB marketing and communications, training for staff and board members, and also hire an additional part-time resource for CLERB. Additionally, we agreed to review adding CLERB receiving subpoena power as part of the state legislative agenda.

4. Posting of CLERB and Civil Service Board Openings
Our administration will post CLERB and Civil Service Board Openings on www.memphistn.gov.

5. Receive recommendations for expanding MPD Implicit Bias Training
MPD has provided current implicit bias training to meeting the attendees and have requested recommendations on how to improve our training.

6. Officer Accountability
Administration agreed to enter discussions with the Memphis Police Association on how to enhance officer accountability with respect to excessive use of force.We also agreed to create an electronic system to store records for violations of the excessive force policies to improve transparency and accountability.

Now, our initial meetings have may have concluded, but the discussion and our work in the area of police reform is far from over. We will continue to work every day to do better and to be better. We will broaden the discussion to include more people and the topics they want to discuss.

The men and women of your Memphis Police Department work tirelessly each day to keep us safe, and over these last several months, they’ve done even more to protect us during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 and the crime rate: To dig a little deeper and shed more light on what I meant when I said “…over these last several months, they’ve (MPD) done even more to protect us during the COVID-19 pandemic”, I want to talk about where our violent crime is so far this year.

As you will see in the chart below, our Shots Fired, Shooting, and Armed Person calls into 911 dispatch for the month of June are up significantly over the same time period from last year.





% Change

Shots Fired










Armed Person





In addition, 12 Memphis police officers have been shot at over the last month.

I wanted to put this chart in here to demonstrate that along with working through a global pandemic, trying to properly navigate through the waters of daily protests and civil unrest, our officers still have a very serious job to do. And it’s important to remember, the vast majority of our officers do an excellent job.

Mconnect (Memphis Innovation Corridor): The City of Memphis and the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) are hosting a virtual public meeting to provide updates and collect feedback on the Memphis Innovation Corridor.

The Memphis Innovation Corridor Project will connect Downtown Memphis, the Memphis Medical District, and the University of Memphis with the region’s first Bus Rapid Transit system. The route will include at approximately 30 modern transit stations, bus-only lanes on portions of Second Street and B. B. King Blvd., and all-electric buses arriving every 10 minutes during peak travel times.

The virtual meeting for the Memphis Innovation Corridor project ends on June 30th, and we’re urging the public to participate and provide comments on the station designs and locations, as well as the corridor-wide roadway and safety improvements.

Please visit www.memphisinnovationcorridor.com to learn more about the project and provide your feedback.


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