• FOX13 Investigates: MPD performance based raises

    By: Greg Coy


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland wants to entice the Memphis Police force to work harder and solve more crimes.  

    He has proposed a performance based bonus program for officers, but the rules and amount of money is still unclear. 

    The Memphis Police Association lost its attempt to convince an impasse committee to give its members a raise during a hearing Monday.  

    "Their proposal was a zero-based raise and a performance based bonus,” said Memphis Police Association President Michael Williams.  

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    FOX13 asked MPA president Mike Williams what is this performance based bonus the Strickland Administration wants to start.  

    “When you find out let me know,” said Williams.  We asked if Williams knew what the criteria for the bonus might be, Williams replied “No.”

    FOX13 emailed the mayor's office to find out and was told because performance bonus plan was just agreed to an impasse but could be given based on the criteria set by our police and human resources divisions ..  the criteria for performance based bonuses for police hasn't been developed yet, emailed Ursula Madden, chief communications officer for the City of Memphis.

    “I don’t think performance based anything with the police department is appropriate,” said Howard Manis of the Cochran Firm Midsouth.  

    Manis, who is a civil rights attorney, told FOX13 he would caution the Strickland Administration that this type of program has caused problems for minority communities in the past.  

    “What is going to be the performance based incentives. Is it going to be arrests? Why do we need to incentivize officers to make arrests? Isn't that their job?  And if we do incentive them to make arrests, isn't it likely some are going to abuse that right,” said Manis.

    FOX13 called local police and sheriff’s department in the Memphis area, six of them in total.  

    Only Collierville offers a performance based bonus where an officer can make $750.

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