Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Steven Seagal Joins MPD ... Sort Of

Posted By on Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Professional tough guy Steven Seagal has played police officers in Hollywood films, but his next role with law enforcement might not make it into Variety.

In a meeting of the City Council's public safety committee, police director Larry Godwin said he has met twice with Seagal about doing advertising for the department. "He's committed to doing our commercials," Godwin said. "He gets a million dollars a commercial, but he's agreed to do it free of charge to not only promote the Memphis police department, but Memphis, Tennessee."

Enlisting Hollywood help is only one of the strategies the police department is utilizing to recruit new officers.

Last year, the department struck down its college requirement, which mandated that new recruits have at least some college or military experience to join the department. Since then, Godwin said, about 1,000 people have applied; roughly a fourth of those applicants do not have any college.

The city is also looking at relaxing residency requirements for police officers, offering signing bonuses, and sweetening pension plans.

--Mary Cashiola

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