Memphis may change moonlighting MPD officer rules - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Memphis may change moonlighting MPD officer rules

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

The city of Memphis may change its rules to make it easier for businesses to hire off-duty police officers.

Mayor A C Wharton said it could help keep public places, like Oak Court Mall in East Memphis, the location of last Thursday's mall shooting, safe.

As police detectives still looking for 20-year-old Otis Reddic, who is wanted for attempted first degree murder and reckless endangerment in the Oak Park Mall shooting, the mayor wants to revisit the city's policies regarding moonlighting officers.
 
Mayor Wharton said he got the idea from one of the businesses at Oak Court Mall, which was locked down for the night after a man was shot on the first floor of the mall.
 
The first Memphis Police officer on the scene was actually working off-duty for a business in the mall. He responded as soon as the shot was fired.

Mayor Wharton said he visited the mall Saturday and talked to some mall employees and business owners. One of them told the mayor it's tough to hire off-duty police officers because the city requires people who hire the off-duty officers to carry expensive insurance policies that would protect the city from any lawsuits if something happens.
 
Mayor Wharton wants to review that practice to see if its absolutely necessary.

"At least one of the merchants out at Oak Court felt that it would help if you actually had officers, fully commissioned officers moonlighting and being able to use their uniforms," the mayor said.

Mr. Wharton said many officers are moonlighting right now but they're not wearing uniforms or carrying their weapons all the time. The mayor said he's instructing Police Director Toney Armstrong and the city attorney to look into the current policies.

The mayor also praised the officers who responded to the mall Thursday. He says they got the situation under control quickly. But detectives are still looking for the accused shooter.

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