Memphis City Council to Vote Yes & Add Police & Fire Residency Requirements to the Ballot

Memphis City Council to Vote Yes & Add Police & Fire Residency Requirements to the Ballot

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Concerned Citizen started this petition to Memphis City Council and

The definition of voter suppression is "a strategy used to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing specific groups from voting."  Last year, the city of Memphis taxpayers were victims of voter suppression when the City Council voted to remove the police and fire residency requirement referendum from the ballot. We pay taxes that fund both MPD and the fire department, so we deserve the right to vote.   Currently, the police and fire residency requirement referendum is up for debate again and has a chance of making it on the ballot in 2022. It has already gone through two readings at Memphis City Council and there has been very little media coverage.  With only one more reading, and they could potentially take a vote as early as January.  

Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the number of police officers in a city and the city's crime rates.  Memphis had the lowest crime rates in 2011 when the city had the highest number of police officers. Today our crime rates are the highest they have ever been.  We have seen a 12.1% increase in major violent crimes, 26.6% increase in gun related incidents, and a 19.1% increase in murders from January to June of 2021 when compared to the same months in previous years.   We are all living daily with the consequences caused by our Memphis City Council when the decision was made to remove our voting rights. We now are in need of 700 police officers and have the highest crime rate in history.   Here is a link to the recent Shelby County Crime Commission statistics:

The "theory" that a police officer is more effective if he or she both lives and works in the city has never been proven and not one study has ever been done. Meanwhile, Mayor Strickland and the Memphis Police Director both presented commissioned studies that proved removing residency requirements would be beneficial and improve safety. The Memphis City Council had NOT ONE ARGUMENT to dispute those facts.  Therefore, when the Memphis City Council voted to remove the police and fire residency requirements from the ballot, it was obvious that some of our very own elected officials had an outside agenda and were actually working AGAINST the very people that pay their salaries and voted them into office. 

We need to fight for changes now, before it's too late.  MPD already can barely make roll call.  There are a large number of officers retiring in the next year or two so we can't afford to wait another year to get the referendum on the ballot.   There is an extremely limited job pool within city limits and MPD has already exhausted all means in their recruiting efforts.   Other cities that are able to hire outside city limits are not having the same problem that we are because they have a larger pool of people to hire from.  

One of the major concerns of police officers is the safety of their families. Living within city limits puts them in danger.  Retaliation is a major problem, as can be seen with the number of squad cars and police residences being shot up all across the country.  Living within city makes police officers easy targets.   It is also costing the taxpayers more money in order to pay for all the property repairs from these shootings, when that money could be better used to improve safety. 

The majority of our current police officers do not live in Memphis and were grandfathered in before the residency requirements.   Recruiting from local neighborhoods is actually more difficult with the residency requirements. Those that grew up in the heart of Memphis and personally know the neighbors and streets would be more willing to join MPD if they were able to live a few miles outside the city and the neighborhood where they grew up. 

Police officers can't afford to live within city limits.  Not only will they have to pay higher tax rates and property values, but if their children's education is a priority then they would also have to pay for private school.  Shelby County Schools  repeatedly score the lowest across the entire state in standardized testing and graduation rates.  Not to mention their children could be targeted by gangs in retaliation at school. 

This is our last chance to save our beloved city.  Even if you don't live within city limits, you are still affected by the crime in Memphis.  Please do everything that you can to help fight this battle.   The higher the crime rates in the city, the higher the crime rates in the surrounding neighborhoods.  We don't have time to wait another couple of years to remove the residency requirements to start rebuilding. The longer we wait, the more damage is done and we are already at a critical point. Criminals don't have to stay within city limits when committing crimes, so why should we restrict our fire department and police officers with residency requirements.

Along with signing this petition, please spread the word. Be sure to call and email your City Council Representatives and tell them to vote yes and put the police and fire residency requirements referendum on the ballot. They need to feel the pressure, especially since they blatantly worked against us last time by suppressing our right to vote.  EVERYONE SHOULD BE OUTRAGED

To call, please dial 901-636-6786

To send an email, copy and paste the email addresses below:,,,,,,,,,,,,,


189 have signed. Let’s get to 200!