Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland released a statement to Fox 13 Memphis about defunding the police department Wednesday. The mayor’s office still has not put KWAM reporters on their email distribution list. We are hoping they will eventually get around to honoring their pledge to us.
“I’m opposed defunding our police department. Over the last 4 and half years, we’ve increased funding to libraries, community centers, made summer camps free, created Manhood University, W.O.W.S, and the Public Service Corps for those who need second chances, and came up with a way to fund universal needs-based Pre-K, but we still have more work to do. With our city’s fight against violent crime, I believe cutting funding from the Memphis Police Department is unwise. And frankly, it’s out of touch with the majority of city residents. The New York Times completed a poll recently, and it showed that only 16% of Americans favor defunding the police. For context here locally, last year during my campaign the number one issue with Memphis voters was crime and the overwhelming majority of citizens were supportive of hiring more officers, and voted to increase the taxes they pay to do it.”