Concerns rise over the future of MPD recruiting classes - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Concerns rise over the future of MPD recruiting classes

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Many of the new recruits still have months of training ahead. Many of the new recruits still have months of training ahead.
This latest graduation was the 117th academy graduation. This latest graduation was the 117th academy graduation.
(WMC-TV) - The Memphis police department welcomed almost 40 new officers at the academy graduation Thursday night, but it could be the last class for a while.

Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams says he is excited for the latest recruitment class to hit the streets but disappointed there will not be more.

"It's definitely always good to add additional personnel to the police department," he said. 

But he is worried that this may be the last recruiting class for several years.

"Normally we have two, three, four classes graduate per year, but because they say that there is a budget crunch, and the director had to cut his budget by $6.1 million, the recruit classes had to go," said Williams. 

Many of the new recruits still have months of training ahead. Williams says he wishes there were more getting training behind them.

"That's scary. Anybody that's been watching the news in this city, I know they say crime is down, but I've been seeing a lot of shootings a lot of robberies," he said. 

He says this recruiting class is smaller than most, and it will take a while before they are patrolling solo.

"Even if you have an officer go through the academy ... That's 21 weeks, he's really not going to be fully serviceable for another year, year and a half. Because he has to go through his 180 days of training, then he's on probation for a year," said Williams. 

Though he admits there are plenty of training opportunities and experiences for these new officers.

"They're going to be integrated at a good time. They're gonna get a lot of training, a lot of good experience, but we just don't have enough," said Williams. 

He says it will not be enough for MPD to do the job they want.

"You're gonna have officers that are gonna have to be reactive as opposed to proactive. If that's what you want ... It's coming, that's what you're gonna get," said Williams.

This latest graduation was the 117th academy graduation.

According to Memphis CAO George Little, budget cuts could keep recruits from going through other classes in the foreseeable future, but at this point no one knows just how long.

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