Council members in Memphis, Tennessee, are seeking millions more to pay police officers amid a rise in crime.
According to WREG, Memphis City Councilman Chase Carlisle said on Tuesday he and other council members are planning to propose a close to $30 million budget resolution.
Half of the budget would allocated for law enforcement salaries.
Carlisle explained the $15 million for police officer salaries would push Memphis toward the top for income for officers in the area, the outlet reported.
“If you want to be competitive, at the end of the day, it all comes down to money, full stop,” Carlisle said.
He added, “You have to be able to have the best possible compensation package if you want the best possible police officers. It’s just a fact.”
WREG pointed out the Memphis Police Department is looking for an additional 2,500 officers.
At this time, the department has roughly 1,900 officers and has faced issues with recruiting.
“We’re living in a world that did not exist 30 years ago, and we have to face and be real about that,” Carlisle said.
He continued, “When these officers leave their house, like Geoffrey Redd did, they may not come home.”
Redd died on Feb. 18 after being shot in the line of duty in East Memphis.
Police Chief CJ Davis told the outlet 115 recruits are in the training process.
According to Davis, the increase in salaries could bring up the numbers.
“Even though we have challenges right now, we have challenges around the country. We can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We have some great officers. We have a great police department. We are constantly working to make our department better and more competitive,” Davis said.
Additionally, specialized MPD units were discussed during the meeting.
Davis and her staff said the MPD’s 35 specialized units address issues, including sexual assaults, auto thefts, larcenies and cyber crimes, per the outlet.
“It is important to make sure that we have individuals in the department that are trained to handle certain types of criminal activity,” Davis said.
Fox 13 reported while the homicide rate in Memphis decreased roughly 13% from 2021 to 2022, there were still 302 homicides.
The outlet noted there was also a 20% increase in property crimes, including burglaries, arsons, and car thefts, through the first nine months, citing the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.
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