"This has to do with Memphis being a safer city," Herenton said. "We need more police officers. Help us get them."
Two years ago, Herenton called for an additional 500 police officers. However, since that time, the number of officers has hovered around 2,000. "As mayor, I want to make every effort to increase the complement of police officers in the city of Memphis. I think you need to remove all restrictions," Herenton said.
Councilmember Barbara Swearengen Ware asked for a legal opinion, saying she wasn't sure the council has the authority to relax the restriction. The residency requirement was part of a public referendum.
"This doesn't make sense to me in light of the fact that the citizens of Memphis agree that if you are on our payroll, you should live in Memphis," Ware said.
-- Mary Cashiola