The total budget resolution will carry a worth of $30 million, according to a report. The $15 million will help the city recruit and maintain a motivated police force, Memphis City Councilman Chase Carlisle said.
“If you want to be competitive, at the end of the day, it all comes down to money, full stop,” Carlisle said.
“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.”
The Memphis Police Department receives roughly 780,000 calls a year, and its roster currently stands at 1,900 officers, according to a report.
MPD’s top-out pay is one of the lowest in the area, and recruiting has been a challenge, according to Carlisle.
Aside from the lower-end pay, officers face threats, including criminals equipped with high-powered weapons, Carlisle said.
“We’re living in a world that did not exist 30 years ago, and we have to face and be real about that,” he added. “When these officers leave their house, like Geoffrey Redd did, they may not come home.”
Redd was killed after being shot while responding to a trespassing call on Feb. 2.
There are 115 recruits in the MPD academy, and the department hopes to increase its roster by 2,500 officers.
“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,” Chief of Police Cerelyn Davis said.
“It is important to make sure that we have individuals in the department that are trained to handle certain types of criminal activity.”