MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Take a memo, please. Dear Memphis Police, comma, whether you like it or not, the Memphis City Council will now get in your face, period. Sign it Love, The Bulldog. “I think the council is determined to help solve this problem,” says Memphis City Councilman Jim Strickland. “And over the next few months, it is going to be studied.”
There is a problem. 21 officers arrested this year, and we’re only in October. The solution? Nobody really has one. Don’t even think of popping that question to Memphis City Councilman Myron Lowery. Four year college requirements? Maybe. “Certainly, “he says, “…you would have a different group of recruits coming in. They would be more knowledgeable. But I’m not sure that’s the solution or not. If I knew that, not only would I be Mayor, and King, and God…I could be…well you know…nobody can answer that.”
It is complicated. Dealing with people is never easy. Dealing with people who want the job of being a police officer on the violent streets of Memphis is even tougher. The good thing is the vast majority of cops on the streets of this city give a damn. Bad cops, however, have a way of making everything stink. “It’s gone on far too long,” Strickland says. “I’m really encouraged that we’re all committed to finding a solution to the problem from the Memphis Police Director, to the Mayor, to the members of the City Council.”
The best known former Mayor of Memphis in recent years had a solution to dealing with problems in the police department. Willie Herenton would fire the director. He had five of them in his years in office. Nobody in this case is saying Toney Armstrong is in any danger of being fired. He might just need some help. “The police director needs to have as much control over his department as he possibly can,” Strickland says.
Meanwhile, neither Strickland nor Lowery have heard anything from Mayor A C Wharton about who is even being considered for Wharton’s new police committee. The Mayor told reporters earlier this week that he should be ready to announce members in the next several days. Neither council member has any idea what the committee will be doing either. They’re just waiting to hear from the Mayor, just like everybody else.