In a town hall meeting at Berean Baptist Wednesday evening with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Police Director Toney Armstrong said MPD won't close any precincts in 2013.
But $6.1M in budget cuts planned, he might not have a choice.
Several concerned Memphians in the Whitehaven community gave passionate comments Wednesday evening at the town hall, expressing their disgust over the potential closing of their police precinct.
The town hall meeting gave citizens a chance to ask the tough questions to Mayor Wharton and Police Director Armstrong. Bottom line, they are concerned about their safety.
Citizens feel their safety is not being considered. Many of them expressed concerns about not being able to do simple things like walking in their neighborhood or riding a bike. Some even asked if the city council can reconsider the budget and vote on a new one.
With the new budget passed by city council in June Director Armstrong is forced to trim his expenses by $6.1 million. He told citizens in attendance at the town hall meeting that he has a few options to trim $6.1 million. He said 90-percent of his operating budget is personnel and that he has to use just over $1 million a year to pay rent for his office at the Criminal Justice Center at 201 Poplar Ave. downtown.
Armstrong sad the best solution he could come up with is potentially closing three of the city's nine precincts: Mount Moriah, Raines Station in Whitehaven, and Old Allen.
Citizens and even city council members had the chance to take the microphone, asking some tough questions.
Armstrong also shared with the crowd the MPD loses about 135 officers per year to retirement and other resignations. With the new budget, he won't be able to replace those officers each year. He also said crime in Whitehaven is down 19 percent.
He couldn't guarantee the same progress would continue as he's faced with budget cuts.
If you could not make it to the town hall meeting in Whitehaven to voice your opinion, Mayor Wharton said there are more town hall meetings planned in the future.
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