Cuts to police personnel concerns local business owner - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cuts to police personnel concerns local business owner

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MILLINGTON, TN -

(WMC-TV) - It has been less than one week since the Millington city board voted to cut jobs, including taking police officers off the streets.

Now, some say their safety is now compromised.

Some who work in the Millington shopping center next to Wal-Mart say they have considered quitting their jobs after a 17-year-old girl who works at the tanning salon had a gun shoved in her face.

"He ran up to her, pulls out a gun from his shirt, sticks it to her head and cocks the hammer and tells her to give him her purse," said the victim's father, Rusty Thweatt.

Thweatt says he is just glad his daughter is still alive.

"Once he cocked that hammer back, she thought she was shot," he said.

Thweatt says his daughter was leaving work last week when she was approached in the parking lot.

Thweatt says now is not the time to take cops off the streets.

"The police department is gonna have to step up their officers. Four or five officers in one night taking care of Millington isn't gonna cut it," he continued.

Business owners like Bonnie Maloney say the most recent incident involving the 17-year-old has them on edge.

Maloney says someone broke the front glass of a nearby store in the same week as the armed robbery.

She is worried she will be next.

Since the robbery, Maloney and her co-workers have started to do things differently.

"We now have a system where no one stay here by themselves. We walk out together, come in together," she explained.

Millington's city board recently voted to cut three patrol officers, one inspector, and one dispatcher from the police department.

The police chief say those positions were already vacant.

Debra Stockstill used to be a police officer for NASA and says she is not afraid to use a gun.  She is just one of the workers who says there needs to be more cops on the streets in an effort to keep the crime out.

"They better think twice. They don't know who's carrying a gun. We don't either but its our lives not theirs," said Stockstill.

Action News 5 called Millington Police Chief Rita Stanback to ask her about the recent increase in crime here and what the police plan to do about it.

Chief Stanback said she would have to call back.  Action News 5's Justin Hanson is still awaiting that call.

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