MPD has 211 Officer involved accidents so far in 2012 - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

MPD has 211 Officer involved accidents so far in 2012

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

A one car crash on Airways was the 211th MPD officer involved crash of the year. Police Union President Mike Williams says the number sounds high, but is an unfortunate occupational hazard. More than 2,000 officers spend most of their day in a car.

"You have to understand, the police officer are out there rolling 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 9 precincts, I don't know how many bureaus, I don't know how many special units, that's what we do, we drive," says Williams.

211 may seem high, but is a big improvement, says MPD Deputy Chief Anthony Berryhill. Last year at this point there were 434 officer involved accidents.

Berryhill says the MPD is actively working to increase driver safety, "Us continually meeting and speaking with the officers about the crashes, officers finally waking up and realizing that the need to get there safely is more important than not making it there at all."

Councilman Harold Collins says the number of accidents doesn't worry him as much as how many of those accidents were officer speeding without blue lights.

In August, a Memphis police officer sped through the intersection of Crump and Georgia without his lights on, striking a car, killing a 13-year-old girl and a 54-year-old woman.

Berryhill says whether officers involved in crashes had their emergency equipment on is not a stat tracked by the MPD.

"I would think that those kinds of incidents should be tracked," says Collins

Berryhill says the "black box" that records officer behavior in a car is only investigated in serious accidents. But, when procedures aren't followed, officers face disciplinary action and remedial driving school.

"Whether or not officer are doing this on a regular basis, I don't think so, but when it does happen, we'll confront it and address it," he says.

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