Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said Wednesday he is against defunding the Memphis Police Department.
As the national conversation about defunding police departments heats up, Strickland released a statement expressing his stance. Here is what the mayor had to say:
“I’m opposed to defunding our police department,” Strickland said. “Over the last four and half years, we’ve increased funding to libraries, community centers, made summer camps free, created Manhood University, W.O.W.S, and the Public Service Corps for those who need second chances, and came up with a way to fund universal needs-based pre-K, but we still have more work to do.
“With our city’s fight against violent crime, I believe cutting funding from the Memphis Police Department is unwise. And frankly, it’s out of touch with the majority of city residents. The New York Times completed a poll recently, and it showed that only 1 percent of Americans favor defunding the police.
“For context here locally, last year during my campaign the number one issue with Memphis voters was crime, and the overwhelming majority of citizens were supportive of hiring more officers, and voted to increase the taxes they pay to do it."