Proposal gives county control of shelter in exchange for school - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Proposal gives county control of shelter in exchange for school police patrols

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The animal control shelter is a place despised by both strays and politicians. 

It cost nearly $3 million to operate annually and the facility has had an inglorious past.

"In the past they have so many issues as everybody in Memphis knows. The ASPCA came in a few years ago to help clean it up, they have had different directors," Ginger Morgan said.

Troubled and expensive…but the city Memphis proposed Shelby County take control of shelter in exchange for Memphis police officers providing continued security at city schools as part of the unified school district.

"It certainly was a quid pro quo if you want to call it that," chief financial officer of Memphis George Little said. "Operationally it makes sense, we believe. Financially it makes sense, we believe."

"They are desperate. They are absolutely desperate," county commissioner Mike Ritz said. 

Animal shelter responsibility in exchange for school security might have gotten support among the county commission if Memphis agreed to something long term and binding.

"I don't think there is any trust that they would continue that service of providing security to the schools unless there is an absolutely firm long term contract in place, 10 years at the minimum," Ritz said.

With no interest from either the Shelby county mayor or county commission, the Wharton administration will no longer provide MPD officers for school security at Memphis school in the unified district when it starts in august.

An amendment will be introduced Tuesday night at Memphis city council to the budget to stop the funding.

"We have been advised that sheriff is geared up to take this responsibility on and the county administration is supporting this approach," Little said.


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