MEMPHIS, Tenn. - How many Memphis Police officers are needed to keep you safe?
Mayor Jim Strickland plans to conduct a study to answer that question before the end of the year.
It is a promise he made before back in February 2017, but never followed through. This is a question that warrants a study because the number of officers can help fight crime, but it will impact the city budget.
Strickland told us he was going to analyze how police are needed to keep you safe in 2017, but that promise never materialized.
Mayor Jim Strickland has not been re-elected, but he wants to improve public safety. He wants to answer the question of how many officers does Memphis Police really needs to keep you safe?
"In the meantime, we got to do a study and figure out exactly how many police officers – they can mathematically figure that out," Strickland said.
If that call for a study sounds familiar, it is because Strickland promised one after his state of the city speech in 2017.
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"We know it is more than what we have now, but we are committed to doing some kind of analysis. Is it 2220, 2400 2500. We don't know," Strickland said.
Was that study ever done? A city spokesman told me no. Priorities changed is the reason I was given.
Studies are important for health care, transportation, and public safety.
Dr. KB Turner, Chairman University of Memphis Criminal Justice Department told FOX13, "Police presence does in fact matter. You have to have a certain amount of officer, boots on the ground to provide that adequate amount of public safety."
Turner said the best study will include such factors as population, crime trends and current police staffing to other comparable cities.
We found this 2010 study of the police department that showed Memphis had more officers than Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco when it had 2400 sworn officers.
The study recommended using more civilian employment in certain divisions to free up officers.
Memphis is on a mission to hire more police. The number could change, but the cost taxpayers won't.
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