MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A violent weekend in Memphis has the Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings urging the public to help officers find those responsible.
As the director made that plea, at least one community activist warned the city needs to better fund grassroots programs trying to solve the program and not pour money into budgets such as the police.
Pastor Ricky Floyd mentioned one program that could use more money and help reduce crime. It is The Husband Institute, a program not for fathers but young men without one. Floyd said it is the type of program that could benefit if money is shifted from the police and other departments.
According to Memphis Police, 26 people were shot, four were murdered and 85 aggravated assaults were reported in Memphis from Friday through Monday morning.
“If we talk about defunding law enforcement or changing, reimagining law enforcement, I don’t know necessarily what the next steps are for community and law enforcement as a whole,” MPD Director Mike Rallings said.
Frasyer Pastor Ricky Floyd said a new strategy is needed to fight crime and that must include trimming budgets for every city department.
“Everybody needs to be evaluating their spending habits, their commitments and loyalty,” said Floyd. “And certainly the police department is one area.”
Floyd argues the money could be invested in grassroots programs like The Husband Institute, an eight-year-old program Floyd created to mentor up to 50 young men without fathers from the inner city.
“As an inner-city church and an inner-city pastor, up until last year, all of the funds came from my pockets or the scraps we could get from the church,” said Floyd.
Memphis City Council Chairwoman Patrice Robinson said she doesn’t support trimming the police budget but wants the money spent in other ways to increase the number of officers.
“My number goal in reallocating dollars will be to creating that pathway from high school to the PST where you are working and going to school and then becoming a police officer,” said Robinson.
Two different perspectives but both stress that fighting crime and the tax dollars spent must change in this climate and after this weekend.
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