Weekly Update

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Earlier this week, there was an article written discussing state grants and MPD. I want to make a couple clarifying points on this story.


The first line of the article reads: “As speeding on Memphis highways becomes more common and more dangerous, state officials say Memphis police are sitting on money that could help the situation.”


First, the money in question is a grant—a grant that has been routinely given by the state to the city for many years.


Second, $400,000 could not, as the author opined, “help the situation”. The situation on the state-managed interstates running through Memphis is the result of lack of manpower, not funding.  Traditionally, MPD has patrolled the interstates, which again—are managed by the state. But, as everyone is aware, MPD has been and is currently hundreds of officers short. 


For years, our ask of state government has been for more highway patrol officers to patrol the interstate instead of MPD, not more money for MPD officers.


The most important takeaway—thanks to the state we are making progress on the manpower issue.


The state has increased highway patrol recently from six to twelve in Shelby County and is planning a new Memphis Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) district headquarters in this year’s state budget proposal. Also included in the budget proposal is more THP officers with a permanent Memphis presence. There will be 16 officers in our county by this summer with more to come this year if the budget is approved by the state legislature.


All that to say—we’re making progress on this challenge, and there will be even more in the future.


MOVING TOGETHER: Right now, the development of the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is underway.  MOVING TOGETHER: 2050 RTP will define the vision for our region’s transportation system and will establish long-term goals, objectives, and transportation priorities for the Mid-South Region over the next 20+ years.  The RTP is updated every four years to reflect new trends and priorities, and we invite you to take a few minutes to complete a short survey about your priorities and ideas for improving transportation in the region.  


To learn more, you can visit the MOVING TOGETHER: 2050 RTP webpage for additional information about the plan development and virtual public meetings, which will be held January 18th-21st!


Go here to Take the Survey.


Second chances can make all the difference: Earlier this week, I was fortunate to be reintroduced to Michael Johnson. Mr. Johnson remined me that he graduated in 2019 from Manhood University, our second-chance program. Manhood focuses on empowering men who have struggled to reach their potential.


He told me that, at the time, he was “down on my luck” and could not get on the right track. He then said that the program “turned my life around,” and he has been working for two years.


Now, he is working for the City of Memphis in our public works division.  I met him at the Grizzlies - Warriors game because his department just so happened to have the suite that evening.




It was a great night; not only because the Grizz won, but because I was able to reconnect with Mr. Johnson and was reminded of how important it is that we continue our efforts to give people second chances.


It is critical we lift up all people who take the personal responsibility to improve themselves and their circumstances. Most importantly, it’s the right thing to do for our neighbor, and it also benefits us all to help people become productive citizens.


To learn more about our programs, please visit Manhood University  and Women Offering Women Support (WOWS). If you are an employer and interested in the program or interested in interviewing our participants, please call 901-636-6822.


Welcome and Congratulations: Last night, we welcomed 43 new police officers at their graduation from our academy. Adding them to our current force brings the total to 1,993.




Recruiting and retaining police officers is one of our top priorities. In our last 6 budgets, we have increased the pay of officers in total by 11.75% - 13.75%, paid each officer at least a $4,500 bonus, implemented the sales tax referendum providing for better retiree health insurance, implemented promotions every two years, and just recently started a take-home car program.




And we are committed to do even more to help keep our community safe!


Enjoy your weekend!




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