Monday, August 22, 2016

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Start Work on Memphis Habitat Homes

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 8:51 AM

President Jimmy Carter
  • President Jimmy Carter
Former President Jimmy Carter kicked off Habitat for Humanity's 33rd Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project near Uptown on Monday morning with a little taste of Sunday school.

The 91-year-old Carter, who now teaches Sunday school regularly at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, told the crowd of Habitat volunteers gathered under a large white tent off North Third Street that they could best use their talents to help others. He also instructed those gathered to please the Christian God by emulating the life and principles of Jesus Christ.

"Habitat for Humanity is the best way for me to take the talent I have and invest it," Carter told the crowd.

After Carter's lesson and prayer, hundreds of volunteers from Memphis and across the country headed to various work sites to get started in their mission to build 19 new homes in Bearwater Park, just north of Uptown. They'll also be painting and doing landscaping work for 10 neighborhood beautification projects, and they'll be doing work on six "aging in place" projects to enhance access and mobility for seniors. The volunteer crew, including the former president and first lady and country stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, will be working in Memphis all week.

The Carters have been working with Habitat on projects across the U.S. and the world since 1984. They've assisted with building, renovating, and repairing 3,944 homes in 14 countries.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Environmentalists Question TVA's Plan to Drill Wells in Aquifer

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 8:15 PM

The TVA is replacing the Allen Fossil Plant with a new gas plant. - JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks
  • The TVA is replacing the Allen Fossil Plant with a new gas plant.
The Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) proposal to pull 3.5 million gallons of water per day from the Memphis Sand aquifer to cool its new under-construction gas plant is under fire by local environmentalists, many of whom showed up to a Sierra Club-sponsored public forum on the matter Thursday night.

About 100 people showed up to the meeting at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library to express concern over the plan to use Memphis' clean drinking water to cool the TVA's gas plant. 

"In my opinion, this is not a good use of our drinking water," said panelist Brian Waldron, the director of the University of Memphis' Center for Applied Earth Science and Engineering Research.

In 2014, when the TVA approved plans for the Allen Combined Cycle gas plant that will replace the Allen Fossil coal plant in 2018, they said they'd be using wastewater from the nearby Maxson Wastewater Treatment Plant for its cooling water system. But those plans have turned out to be too expensive, according to a report from TVA, since using wastewater would first require treatment due to pollutants in that water.

Now, they're looking at a few alternatives — either drilling five wells into the aquifer and pulling water directly from the ground, purchasing potable water from Memphis Light, Gas, & Water (MLGW), or some combination of the two. If potable water is purchased from MLGW, that water would come from both the Memphis Sand and the Fort Pillow aquifers, but the TVA environmental assessment report says MLGW cannot sell the TVA enough water to meet peak demand.

The TVA published a supplemental report on the proposals in April, but the entity did not seek public comment. That's not required by law, but TVA did seek comments for its original report detailing the options for switching from a coal plant to a gas plant.

"Had they opened it for comment, we would have offered alternatives," said panelist Scott Banbury, conservation program coordinator for the Sierra Club.

Some of those alternatives were discussed by panelists at the meeting. MLGW president Jerry Collins sat on the panel and told the crowd that if TVA had to take water from the aquifer, he'd prefer the entity buy potable water from MLGW rather than pump directly. Either way, it comes out of the aquifer, but Collins said a purchase from MLGW would allow for more oversight.

"That would keep your rates low, and we could monitor how much they're using. Also, we take out the iron and add phosphate, which makes it much less corrosive," Collins said. 

Collins did say that the aquifer is in better shape than it was 16 years ago. In 2000, the average amount of water pumped from the aquifer daily was 159 million gallons. Last year, 126 million gallons per day were pumped. Collins credited that drop to regional water users becoming more environmentally conscious and installing low-flush toilets and more energy efficient washing machines and dishwashers.

Waldron said he'd prefer the TVA take its cooling water from the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer rather than the Memphis Sand. He also warned of a known breach in the Memphis Sand that he believed could cause damage to the water supply if TVA went through with its plans to pump water directly from the aquifer.

Angela Garrone, an attorney for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, pointed out that if TVA would dedicate more resources to renewable energy, it wouldn't need so much water.

"Solar and wind don't need water and don't have much of an impact on our environment," Garrone said.

She also said the TVA should be doing a better job to engage the public on the matter.

"The TVA is a federal entity, not a company. I would think it would be in their best interest to engage the public," she said. 

The TVA is still in a decision-making mode about what to do, Collins said. But several environmentalists from the Sierra Club are planning to attend the TVA's board meeting on August 25th in Knoxville to express their concerns. Memphis City Councilman Martavius Jones said he may introduce a resolution in support of the TVA considering other alternatives at the next council meeting.

The TVA is under an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency and several environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, to reduce emissions at its coal-fired plants by December 2018. In 2014, the TVA's board voted to close the Allen Fossil plant, which provides energy to the region, and replace it with a more environmentally friendly natural gas plant. The new Allen Combined Cycle plant is currently under construction in Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park, near the site of the Allen Fossil Plant.

The TVA must have the Allen Fossil Plant closed by December 2018, so they're looking to get the new plant online by June of that year. 

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Memphis Native Immigrates to Israel With 233 Americans

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 11:12 AM

SHAHAR AZRAN
  • Shahar Azran
Memphis native Mirel Samuels moved to Israel yesterday along with 232 Americans by way of a 6,000 mile chartered Nefesh B’Nefesh flight, an organization revitalizing immigration to Israel.

“Looking back in 2002 when [we] founded this organization, we couldn’t have imagined bringing 50,000 Jews from North America to Israel to fulfill their dreams and the dreams of the Jewish people," said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. "And we’re not stopping anytime soon.”

Citizens from 22 U.S. states and one Canadian province will now call Israel home. That includes 24 families, 78 children, 10 medical professionals, and 75 soldiers who will become Israeli citizens and volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces. The passengers' ages range from 3 and a half weeks old to 85 years old as well as 20-year-old Samuels. 
Nefesh B’Nefesh was founded in 2002. The organization, in cooperation with Israeli government and The Jewish Agency, works to remove the financial, professional, logistical and social barriers of immigration to Israel. Since Nefesh B’Nefesh began, its efforts have been on renewing immigration from North America and the United Kingdom. About 90 percent of immigrants have remained in Israel. 

“Every single family and individual we bring to Israel who decides to make Aliyah is such a special thing for us as an organization, but when you see so many brave young men and women from North America sacrifice so much and voluntarily leave their families because they feel a yearning desire to serve in the IDF and defend Israel, that’s powerful,” Fass said. 

Councilman Berlin Boyd Wants to Decriminalize Weed

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 8:19 AM

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Memphis City Councilman Berlin Boyd is planning to introduce a city ordinance that would institute a civil penalty for possessing or selling small amounts of marijuana within the city limits.

The ordinance, which will be introduced in the council's public safety committee on Tuesday, August 23rd, would effectively decriminalize possession or "casual exchange of less than one-half ounce of marijuana in the City of Memphis," according to a news release issued by Boyd's council staff on Wednesday. Those caught with a small amount of weed would face a $50 civil penalty and possible community service rather than facing criminal charges. 

"Councilman Boyd believes that it is time to recognize, as has been done in many other municipalities across the country, that bringing individuals into the burdensome and expensive criminal justice system is not commensurate with the crime of possessing a small amount of marijuana," reads the release.

A similar ordinance is also being considered in Nashville.

Currently, those convicted of less than an ounce of pot in Tennessee face a misdemeanor charge and the possibility of up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine. Anything above a half-ounce is a felony.


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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pets of the Week

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 4:24 PM

Each week, the Flyer will feature adoptable dogs and cats from Memphis Animal Services. All photos are credited to Memphis Pets Alive. More pictures can be found on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page.

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Slideshow
Memphis Pets of the Week (August 18-24)
Memphis Pets of the Week (August 18-24) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 18-24) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 18-24) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 18-24) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 18-24) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 18-24) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 18-24) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 18-24)

Memphis Pets of the Week (August 18-24)

Each week, the Flyer will feature adoptable dogs and cats from Memphis Animal Services. All photos are credited to Memphis Pets Alive. More pictures can be found on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page.

By Bianca Phillips

Click to View 12 slides


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Monday, August 15, 2016

Protest at Graceland Remains Peaceful

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 10:38 PM

The Coalition of Concerned Citizens' protest outside the Elvis Week candlelight vigil Monday night remained peaceful. The demonstration, which was organized to protest the nationwide killings of unarmed black citizens by police officers, also remained rather small, attracting only a couple hundred protesters. That was quite a difference from the group's massive initial protest in August that shut down the Hernando-DeSoto Bridge.

Chants of "This is what democracy looks like!" and "No justice, no peace!" filled the air, and at one point, protesters locked arms and walked in a straight line down a side street that police had already blocked off. But the crowd eventually turned around and headed back to the main protest area, just outside police barricades on the south side of Graceland along Elvis Presley.

Despite the small crowd, the Memphis Police Department had a heavy presence. Police weren't letting protesters through the barricades to access their cars, many of which were located in the free Graceland parking lot. The only way back to that lot involved about a three-mile walk through a dark neighborhood with no sidewalks. 

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Slideshow
Scenes from the Protest for Black Lives Outside the Elvis Vigil
Scenes from the Protest for Black Lives Outside the Elvis Vigil Scenes from the Protest for Black Lives Outside the Elvis Vigil Scenes from the Protest for Black Lives Outside the Elvis Vigil Scenes from the Protest for Black Lives Outside the Elvis Vigil Scenes from the Protest for Black Lives Outside the Elvis Vigil Scenes from the Protest for Black Lives Outside the Elvis Vigil Scenes from the Protest for Black Lives Outside the Elvis Vigil Scenes from the Protest for Black Lives Outside the Elvis Vigil

Scenes from the Protest for Black Lives Outside the Elvis Vigil


By Bianca Phillips

Click to View 10 slides


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Friday, August 12, 2016

Fourth Bluff Fridays Kicks Off Today

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 10:11 AM

Memphis Park
  • Memphis Park
A new, free pop-up beer garden in Memphis Park (formerly Confederate Park) starts Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

Fourth Bluff Fridays will feature The Tapbox, a mobile beer vendor with local brews from Wiseacre, High Cotton, Memphis Made, and Ghost River. Food trucks on-site will include Stick 'Em, Monkeytrain Grazing Co., and SayCheese. The Mighty Souls Brass Band will play a show from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will run through 8 p.m.

The monthly, family-friendly event is a joint effort by the City of Memphis, The Tapbox, the Downtown Memphis Commission, and the Riverfront Development Corporation. The concept was inspired by a park activation project in Philadelphia called Parks on Tap, which featured 14 different parks for 14 weeks in the summer.

The Memphis version will stick with Memphis Park for the immediate future. The next Fourth Bluff Fridays at Memphis Park is scheduled for September 9th, and another is set for October 14th.


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Thursday, August 11, 2016

De-annexation Task Force Has First Meeting

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 5:29 PM

Bill Morrison
  • Bill Morrison
The Strategic Footprint Review Task Force, the city-county body assembled to study the impact of de-annexing some Memphis neighborhoods, held its introductory meeting on Thursday afternoon at Memphis City Hall. 

The task force didn't accomplish much in its brief first meeting. Members introduced themselves, and task force chair/City Councilman Bill Morrison set out some hopes for future meetings. Morrison said he'd like the task force to determine the positive and negative impacts of de-annexation, so the group can take their findings to Nashville and say "we've got this. This is what is best for our city and county."

The task force was created back in April as a way to evaluate the cost of de-annexation, after a state bill was introduced that would have allowed de-annexation referendums in areas annexed since 1998. That bill passed the state House, but it was sent to summer study after it reached the Senate. At the time, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland staunchly opposed the bill, saying de-annexation of certain areas would cost the city $28 million in residential property taxes. Proponents of de-annexation argued that the bill would save Memphis money since it would no longer need to provide city services to those areas.

The task force will meet again next Monday, August 18th at 4 p.m. at Memphis City Hall, in advance of a Senate summer study committee meeting on the de-annexation bill on August 22nd. Memphis Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Doug McGowan and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Brian Collins, who were both in attendance at the task force meeting on Thursday, will be present at the Senate committee meeting.

The Strategic Footprint Review Task Force is made up of Morrison and Memphis City Councilman Patrice Robinson, Shelby County Commissioners Terry Roland and Mark Billingsley, State Representative Larry Miller, Shelby County CAO Harvey Kennedy, Memphis CAO McGowan, Memphis CFO Collins, and Kelly Rayne of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.

Early in the meeting, Roland said he'd like the task force to determine how the city and county can compete with surrounding regions. At the conclusion of the meeting, Roland asked task force members if they remembered the old county license plates that had a number one on them. No one responded, but he replied with "That's what we're going back to. We're going to rival Nashville."

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Former Memphis Police Officer Indicted for Stalking; Shelby Jailers Let Go Over Contraband Charges

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Joshua Barnes
  • Joshua Barnes
Joshua Barnes, a former Memphis Police officer, has been indicted on charges of stalking a former girlfriend and illegally installing a tracking device on her car, according to the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.

Barnes, who resigned from the Memphis Police Department (MPD) in January, is being held at the Shelby County Jail on a $100,000 bond for previous stalking charges and for violating an order of protection.

Barnes' former girlfriend told police in January that Barnes had stalked her on several occasions, and she feared for her safety. An automotive shop discovered a tracking device had been installed under her car, so she took the device to the MPD's Union Extended office. Barnes was then spotted in his truck in an adjacent parking lot.

In other law enforcement crime news, two female deputy jailers have been relieved of duty without pay pending an investigation into the women attempting to smuggle contraband into the Shelby County Jail on separate occasions.

Jailer Brianna Hawthorne reportedly attempted to bring a cell phone battery into the jail, but the battery was caught by a security scanner. When she was told to empty her pockets at the security checkpoint, Hawthorne allegedly tried to conceal the battery in her hand. She's been indicted on charges of bringing contraband into the penal facility and tampering with evidence.

Jailer Domonique Williams was stopped by security on June 1st as she attempted to enter the jail wearing a Samsung Smart Watch. Williams had allegedly been allowing inmates to send and receive phone calls or text messages with her watch, according to the Shelby County District Attorney's Office. She's been indicted on charges of introducing contraband into the jail.

Williams has filed a lawsuit against jail and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office regarding the indictment. Her attorney Sean Antone Hunt claims the jail had no policy against smart watches. The sheriff's office has asserted that her watch was attached to a cell phone, but her attorney says a smart watch must be within 10 meters of an active and paired cell phone with Bluetooth to function as a cell phone. He released a statement saying Williams did not have her cell phone with her at the time she was caught wearing the watch.

According to Hunt's statement, "AFSCME Local 1733, the labor union that represents the deputy jailers, denounces the treatment of these employees stating that they were denied due process in that they were never given a pre-disciplinary hearing. They were suspended without pay and ordered to remain in their homes for over two months. They have yet to be formally advised of the charges against them – and they have not yet been given an opportunity to defend themselves."

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pets of the Week

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Each week, the Flyer will feature adoptable dogs and cats from Memphis Animal Services. All photos are credited to Memphis Pets Alive. More pictures can be found on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page.

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Slideshow
Memphis Pets of the Week (August 11-17)
Memphis Pets of the Week (August 11-17) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 11-17) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 11-17) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 11-17) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 11-17) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 11-17) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 11-17) Memphis Pets of the Week (August 11-17)

Memphis Pets of the Week (August 11-17)

Each week, the Flyer will feature adoptable dogs and cats from Memphis Animal Services. All photos are credited to Memphis Pets Alive. More pictures can be found on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page.




By Bianca Phillips

Click to View 20 slides


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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Wiseacre Founder Floats Coliseum Idea in Front of Council

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 3:53 PM

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Wiseacre co-founder Frank Smith appeared before the City Council today to discuss moving the brewery's operation into the Mid-South Coliseum. 

He said he wanted to "explore if the idea has merit."

Wiseacre, Smith said, has expanded its Broad facility four times in the last two years and has reached capacity. 

The brewery would take over the entire bottom portion of the arena, according to the plan. 

"There will never be another concert in the Mid-South Coliseum again. No graduations," Smith said. 

He did envision partnering with area restaurants. He also threw out the ideas of a bowling alley or climbing wall.  

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UPDATE: CLERB Ordinance Passes; New Language Retains Subpoena Power

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 11:55 AM

Worth Morgan
  • Worth Morgan
UPDATE (8/9/16, 7:33 p.m.): The Memphis City Council passed an ordinance retaining CLERB's subpoena power, but board members must subpoena through their council liaison. And those subpoenaed will appear before the Memphis City Council.

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The issue of whether or not the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) should have the power to subpoena witnesses and documents in cases of police misconduct is up for its final vote today at Memphis City Council on Tuesday afternoon

But the ordinance's wording has changed to retain the citizen board's subpoena power through a city council liaison. An older revised version would have stripped the board of that indirect power completely, but Memphis United and the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center has put up a strong campaign against that change. According to the new language, which was introduced today by city council sponsor Worth Morgan, anyone subpoenaed would be compelled to attend a Memphis City Council meeting, which CLERB members would then attend. 

The original CLERB ordinance passed last year gave the board indirect subpoena power, but Morgan — also the CLERB council liaison — had recently introduced new language to remove that power, saying such power would violate the city charter. But Morgan has apparently worked out a compromise that retains the board's subpoena power but changes the meeting at which those subpoenaed would be compelled to attend.

The new language up for vote today reads: "In order to carry out its functions, the board is authorized to request through its Council liaison, a subpoena to effectuate an investigation or compel attendance by an officer or witness for a hearing before the Memphis City Council. Upon investigation and fact finding, the Council liaison shall present a resolution to the full City Council to obtain the requested subpoena. Should the Council liaison fail to support the request of the board for the subpoena within the next two council meetings following the date of the request, the board Chairperson may make a recommendation to the City Council Chair. In the event the Council fails to issue the requested subpoena, the board reserves the right to file a complaint with the local and state ethics commissions, Tennessee Human Rights Commissions, or the Department of Justice to investigate the case before the CLERB board."

The CLERB is a volunteer board tasked with hearing cases of police misconduct that were not sustained by the Memphis Police Department's own Internal Affairs complaint process. The board can recommend punishment for officers to the police director, but it cannot enforce penalties.

The CLERB was active from 1994 to 2011 but eventually fizzled out. The original board lacked power to subpoena witnesses and documents. However, last fall, the Memphis City Council voted to allow the board to indirectly subpoena officers and paperwork through the board's liaison on the council.

The Mid-South Peace & Justice Center sent out an email Monday night, thanking Morgan for his compromise.

"We would like to thank Councilman Worth Morgan for working with us to ensure that CLERB has the power and authority to provide accountable and transparent oversight of police to the people of Memphis, Tennessee," read the email.  

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Shelby County Confirms Fourth Case of Zika Virus

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 2:15 PM

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At least four Shelby County residents have contracted the Zika virus, but all cases here so far have resulted from traveling to countries where Zika is most prevalent.

The Shelby County Health Department confirmed the fourth case on Monday, and they say the individual is currently symptomatic.

The virus tends to only cause mild symptoms, and for most people, the health department says testing isn't necessary.  Approximately 80 percent of those infected never show symptoms of the disease. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. 

Pregnant women who contract Zika risk having babies with birth defects, most notably microcephaly — a condition where the baby's head is smaller than normal and the child is at risk for physical and speech disorders, seizures, hyperactivity, and other brain disorders.

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Police Director Rallings Discusses Past and Future

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 10:56 AM

Michael Rallings and Jim Strickland
  • Michael Rallings and Jim Strickland
On his first day as the full-time Memphis Police Director, Michael Rallings listed his accomplishments over the past six months he served as interim director and outlined a few plans for the future.

Rallings gave that speech in a press conference on Monday morning at Memphis City Hall. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced on Sunday night that Rallings was chosen to lead the department after a national search for a successor to former director Toney Armstrong.

In his speech, Rallings named off a checklist of his accomplishments since he was named in the interim role back in February. Among those were 31 graduates from the Memphis Police Department (MPD) training academy, the installation of 400 in-car cameras, the test run of 25 body cameras by officers at Crump Station, an 80 percent homicide solve rate, a new GPS ankle monitoring program for domestic violence and sex offenders, and a significant reduction in backlogged sexual assault kits.

When asked what he would do to reduce the city's high homicide rate — 133 homicides so far this year — Rallings said he couldn't do it alone. He said it was up to family members of young people to monitor Facebook threats and social media photos of their sons posing with guns and drugs.

"Families have got to get involved in young people's lives," Rallings said.

He did point out, though, that the majority of this year's homicides have been between people who knew one another and resorted to gun violence after an argument. 

Going forward, Rallings said he'd continue to encourage citizens to work together with the police department to help reduce the homicide rate. He also vowed to do everything he could to improve the benefits package for police officers, and he said the he'd work with the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission on developing a third edition of the Operation Safe Community crime-fighting initiative. Additionally, Rallings said he needed to improve his relationship with the Latino community.

"I haven't done as much work with my Latino brothers and sisters. I feel like I've let them down. I will do better," Rallings said.

The Memphis City Council will vote on Rallings' appointment on Tuesday.

"These last six months have been tough, the toughest in my career. They have been tough for law enforcement across the country. But I'm ready to serve," Rallings said. "I'm ready to breathe new life into some of these neighborhoods and citizens who have given up hope."

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Rallings Selected for Police Director Job

Posted By on Sun, Aug 7, 2016 at 8:17 PM

Michael Rallings
  • Michael Rallings
Memphis Police Interim Director Michael Rallings has been chosen to fill the permanent police director role, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced on Facebook Sunday afternoon.

Rallings had put his name in the hat for the job to fill the position vacated by former director Toney Armstrong. But Strickland conducted a national search and was also considering Malik Aziz (deputy chief of the Dallas Police Department), Patrick Melvin (former chief of the Salt River Police Department in Arizona), Joseph Sullivan (chief inspector of the Philadelphia Police Department), Branville Bard (police chief and director of public safety with the Philadelphia Housing Authority), and Richard Bash (deputy chief of police at the Columbus Police Department in Ohio).

Here's Strickland's statement from Facebook:
"I promised Memphians that I would find the best possible police director in the nation to meet our city’s needs. After a comprehensive process in which I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of our candidates, I’m convinced the best leader for Memphis Police Department est.1827 is Michael Rallings.
So today, I offered our interim director the title of director. And I’m thrilled to share with you that he accepted.

You already know that Director Rallings is tested and has what it takes for this demanding job. I’m impressed with his commitment and results both in fighting crime and leading a fair, responsible and trustworthy police department.

My appointment is the product of a national search I promised in my campaign. Our six recommended candidates interviewed Wednesday, and to ensure a broad cross-section of input on the hire, I also included panels representing law enforcement, the community, the city administration and civic leaders.

We’ll hold a news conference Monday (which we’ll stream live here), and I’ll be presenting my appointment to the City Council Tuesday.

I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Michael Rallings!"

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