Voters will NOT Get to Decide on Residency Requirements of Mem. Officers
The issue is simple, but it has huge consequences in terms of police recruitment:
Should Memphis police officers live inside the city limits?
In an unexpected move, the Memphis City Council votes 7-6 to deny residents the right to decide the issue.
Memphis City Councilman Republican Frank Colvett Jr.
tells ‘Wake Up Memphis’ with Robyn Walensky Memphis Police Chief Michael Rallings
“begged” the city council to pass the vote to let Memphians’ decide whether or not police officers should be able to live within 50 miles of the city.
Last year, the city council voted to bring the referendum question, and it passed.
“We basically passed it again, to leave it on the ballot for this November,” Colvett says. “Well, it was brought up again, and two votes flipped.”
Colvett tells ‘Wake Up Memphis,’ “Some folks feel they don’t want Bubba from Tipton County patrolling their neighborhoods.”
Apparently, some black members of the Memphis City Council are strongly opposed to white police officers living outside the city and patrolling black neighborhoods.
Colvett tells Walensky, “if your house is being broken into, do you even care where that police officer rests his head at night?”
With homicides on the rise in Memphis, the solution seems to be more policing rather than less.
Colvett says it “boggles” his mind how someone could vote against this, let alone flip their vote. He points to polls taken in Shelby County
, and the message is clear: the majority of voters do not want to defund the police.
“What is going to happen when someone they know or someone from their church needs a police officer, and there aren’t enough?” Colvett tells Walensky. “What’s going to happen is the crime rate is going to go up, and they have no ideas to offer to change this course.”
Here’s how the 7-6 vote went down:
Michalyn Easter-Thomas, JB Smiley, Jr., Martavius Jones, Jamita Swearengen, Rhonda Logan, Cheyenne Johnson and Patrice Robinson voted yes.
Worth Morgan, Jeff Warren, Chase Carlisle, Frank Colvett, J. Ford Canale and Edmund Ford, Sr. voted no.
The Memphis City Council had agreed to the referendum last December. But six members of the current council were not a part of that body.
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