Dir. Rallings voices concerns about residency requirements in letter to council members

Dir. Rallings voices concerns about residency requirements in letter to council members

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police Department Director Michael Rallings has been pushing for residency requirements for MPD officers to change for some time.

His latest attempt was handing out a letter to city council members during the meeting on Tuesday night.

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FOX13 obtained that letter which read in part:

Reducing crime should be the top priority for not only law enforcement, but all citizens. By allowing officers and potential applicants to live where they prefer will open the door for a larger pool of candidates, which will enable us to hire more officers who will be committed to making Memphis a safer city.

Rallings pointed out that time is of the essence because MPD is already facing a staffing crisis.

MPD is in a staffing crisis and our current staffing of two thousand and ninety (2,090) commissioned officers is significantly below those required for performance of our mission.

Right now, any officer hired before Jan. 3, 2005 can live outside the county. Anyone hired after 2011 has to live within the county, except about 115 police officers who were hired in 2009.  They're allowed to live 20 miles outside the city of Memphis if they paid a fee of about $1400.

Currently, there are three (3) different residency policies, based on when an officer was hired, which means officers who work on the same shift, work the same number of hours, who put in the same effort by risking his or her life daily, are bound by three different residency requirements. Having numerous policies in place does not make sense. This issue should be corrected by allowing all police officers the ability to reside wherever they choose, as long as they can report to work within two (2) hours of notification.

We will continue to share updates on this situation.

Right now, there is no word on how council members felt about the letter or when we can expect the issue to go to vote.

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