MPD makes adjustment to handle staff shortages

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 7:10 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Police departments across the nation are experiencing staff shortages, and the Memphis Police Department is no exception.

In a sit down with MPD Assistant Police Chief Shawn Jones Thursday, Jones said the department had to make some adjustments due to staffing shortages.

“We most recently collapsed one of our shifts, a couple of our shifts into one,” said Jones.

Assistant Chief Jones said the adjustment to get rid of their 4th shift is due to not having enough manpower to patrol during that shift, a shift when police say the majority of crimes occur.

By making this change, officers can be more responsive to the community and respond to life or death calls within 5-8 minutes.

“Individuals that may be shot, they may be fighting, stabbed or being robbed or something like, that what we’re responding to, those crime scenes in a timely manner so we’re meeting that. where meeting that,” said Jones.

However, Jones said property crimes are treated as secondary until the police force is fully staffed.

The department is budgeted for 2,300 officers for the current fiscal year, a number Jones says he’s confident that by the end of the year new recruitments will fill.

“We have a class that’s in the academy that will graduate and that will graduate for July 1st. That can back up and booster numbers back up closer to that 2000, and we have another class that we’re anticipating to start 100 with 100 graduates that will graduate before the end of the year.

To attract new officers, MPD has bumped up some of its recruiting incentives to include a signing bonus of $15,000, a retention incentive up to 9% per year for up to five years, and a $5,000 referral bonus for officers.

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