MPD introduces new take-home car program for officers
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A one-million-dollar investment by the city of Memphis has just hit the roads in Memphis.
The Memphis Police Department unveiled brand new cruisers purchased for their new Take Home Vehicle program for officers.
Thirty MPD officers this afternoon got the keys to a brand-new ride.
Last year Memphis City Council approved $1 million to purchase 30 new vehicles for this program.
Most were the Dodge Challengers, similar to the ones on the streets, but the next wave of vehicles will look a lot different.
MPD also unveiled new SUV-style cruisers which will eventually replace all of the old vehicles.
The new vehicles are blue with white letters.
MPD asked current officers to submit design options.
Officer Ian Tiereny’s design was selected, he says he used a video game to help create the design.
Chief CJ Davis has long pushed for take-home vehicles for officers.
She says it’s been a success in previous cities she’s worked in.
Off-duty officers with take-home vehicles can respond to disaster emergencies such as weather-related events.
She also says vehicles often last longer because the officers tend to take better maintenance of take-home vehicles, and probably the biggest incentive is in the recruitment process.
“I have been asked several occasions why a Take Home Car program is so important first as I mentioned it places more marked control cars in our neighborhoods 24 hours a day providing a constant presence and to be honest it also serves as a morale booster,” said Chief C.J. Davis.
Chief Davis says when choosing the initial 30 officers for the program they took three things into consideration seniority, where the officer lived in the city so they could have a presence in all precincts, and the officer’s driving history.
Twenty-four-year veteran Keith Payne says the new take-home vehicle program was the reason he chose not to retire.
“I was going to do 25 years and leave and not that I don’t like the job, I love the job, but when she said do you want a take-home car, couldn’t get it out quick enough, yes!,” said Payne.
Chief Davis says to her knowledge there has never been a formal take-home car program.
Chief Davis is asking for more funding in the department’s budget to expand the take home vehicle program in the future.
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