Memphis: How To Destroy a Police Department

It’s almost as if politicians don’t understand that people can (and do) move. More cops. Is it the answer to fighting crime?.

Hurting tax revenues caused salary and benefit cuts. Attrition meant more overtime. A lot more. Not exactly the way to build morale and keep the peace.

And so what is the current “State of Memphis?”

Memphis has a murder rate worse than Chicago’s and a police force that has shrunk by nearly a fifth since 2011, to a head count of 2,020. The city is on its fourth round of outside police staffing consultants in eight years.

Say it again… 20% attrition in 8 years.

Armstrong says police recruiters from as far away as Texas and Florida were coming to Memphis to lure away his demoralized cops. “Until someone takes a look at the benefit packages, this is going to be a continual problem,” [former Memphis Police Director Toney] Armstrong said.

First, politicians don’t do enough to staff 911 centers – pay benefits and hours – and then they are surprised that 911 calls don’t get answered. Then they undercut the cops and are shocked when crime goes up. What the hell are they spending money on?

What comes in the city hierarchy before fire and police?

6 thoughts on “Memphis: How To Destroy a Police Department

  1. Oh, and all the “staffing consultants…” They keep ignoring the recommendations because “We’ve never done things that way.” And they way you’ve been doing stuff has worked so well, that you keep having to hire consultants to come up with new ideas that you will reject because you like your old ideas better.

    Great use of taxpayers’ money.


  2. As a “roadie” contractor, I’ve had to drive through Memphis several times over the years. I never stop for anything there, and when my wife goes through there, I tell her never to stop for anything there. The risk is too great. A friend’s daughter was mugged there in 2011. Stopped for gas at a “stop and rob.” She didn’t listen to Daddy, believing in the peace-love-dove crap she was taught in school. Still traumatized and finds it difficult to leave her home.

    I’m unsurprised they have problems retaining officers. Good folks leave for the suburbs, bad ones stay in the city. Folks passing through are walking ATMs for the locals. Cops overwhelmed, and when they do bring in (or drop) a perp, it’s always, “He was a good boy, aspiring rapper, getting his life straight…” ad nauseum.


  3. And for its sister city a few miles upriver, I will drive two hundred miles out of my way to avoid coming close to St. Louis.


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  5. None of that is related to the murder rate. Murder rates go down when you capture or kill murderers. A cop on every corner who isn’t allowed to capture or kill murderers does no good. Stop looking at police departments as if they are supposed to be a secure job. in most places of the USA, we get along fine without police. In my area, we know it’s a 30 minute drive for an office to respond, even if there is one standing around doing nothing when the call comes in, and they are ALWAYS standing around doing nothing.


  6. No One, I am a licensed concealed carrier. I don’t expect the police to protect me while I’m away from home. And I’ve turned down well-paying jobs in states that do not honor my permit, just because the police do not have a duty to defend me. I am my own first responder.

    As for hesitating to defend myself, I didn’t hesitate in the service of our country. I wouldn’t hesitate in defending myself, wife, family, and innocent strangers.


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