Memphis facing obstacles when trying to add police officers

mike_williams memphis

The Memphis Police Department is down about 400 police officers. The city is currently making up for the shortage by paying officers to worker overtime.

Interim Director Mike Rallings is asking Memphians to step forward and join the force.

“If you want to make a difference in this city, send us those individuals that you know that have those characteristics and qualities that we need to become Memphis’ finest,” Director Rallings said.

Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams agrees more boots are need on the ground, but he said the city will have difficulty filling the openings. That is because Memphis, in his opinion, does not offer a competitive benefits packs that will attract quality officers.

“The hard subject is they’re going to have to do something to replace the benefits for police officers. When you look at other cities, they’re offering more. You’re not going to be able to get the qualified applicants to come here,” Williams said.

Williams added that the salaries for both the police director and for officers do not compete with other major cities.