Reimagining Police

Two weeks ago Mayor Strickland sent out an email with the heading “Reimaging Police in Memphis.”

It was a misspelling because he went on to talk about “reimagining Policing in Memphis.” Quite a difference really, but probably closer to what needs to be done in refurbishing the police image than in creating what he wants – or more accurately what one voting segment wants – than what should be done.

He wrote:

Earlier this week, I announced the creation of an Advisory Council to Reimagine Policing in Memphis, which is Phase 2 of our local efforts on police reform. Phase 1 of this process was to listen to protesters and to make immediate improvements such as adopting the “8 Can’t Wait” principles, improving CLERB, prohibiting no-knock warrants, extending the academy training by one week and adding additional cultural sensitivity training, and continuing to review policies that will reduce excessive force by our police officers. These discussions are ongoing.

The focus of this advisory council will be to work with members of the community to find substantive, realistic and measurable ways to improve community relations with law enforcement, help enhance accountability and transparency within the Memphis Police Department, and to make recommendations on our use of force policies.

Clearly the victims of crimes are not given a voice.

This popped up because of a Nextdoor entry this morning.

Someone wrote “TOO MANY CARS GETTING DAMAGED. Can someone point me in the right direction in mid-town as to a point of contact to write about the continued break-ins. I have to be frank I am up all hours and after midnight I never see police in the midtown area, especially since we have a satellite station right on Union.

Is there a Mayor of Midtown? Or should I write Memphis Mayor.

Your thoughts or ideas would greatly be appreciated!

Warm regards, (name withheld)”

The responses were insightful. Some told of numbers to call to alert the police. Everyone acknowledged there is a problem.

One comment was particularly interesting: “My guess is no hiring police officers and no one wants to become cops anymore. And folks are wanting them defunded. I’m on no one’s side, but this would be my guess”
Good guess.

And, “While crime increases the police force decreases.”
See previous comment.

Reimagining police and defunding them just can’t stop the crime. It doesn’t make common sense.

How long is it going to take for people to make this connection?

And how many will be hit with crime in the meantime?

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