How about Penthouse as the official state magazine?
I like the phrase "goes down." Sounds like a bank robbery (thug speak.)
At least whatever it is in the second image has a full set of teeth.
The two grifters are probably up for re-election. That being said, an awareness of the circus returning to Nashville is akin to the Avon lady ringing the doorbell at dinner.
"Profits first. Been that way for a long time now."
Once Amazon get's their 737's in the air, Fred's pension benefits denial will be the least of his concerns.
Is it 72 cousins they get or 32 new teeth?
I moved to Memphis in mid 2000. After retiring from an extensive career in government public safety, I spent the remainder of my working years in the private sector. One thing I learned early on as a government employee was to watch closely, consistently and constantly, those that were in decision making positions that affected my life. In my case, in was county government and a body of politicians who ultimately made decisions for function and growth. For county employees', it was pay, benefits etc. that were constantly on our radar. We had no union and to date, there is still no union representation. The grease for all policy and functioning; whether in a household, a city or a state, is finances .... money. I've paid attention to every government body of every location I've lived in since.
The fact that Willie Herendon was elected multiple times as the mayor of Memphis is remarkable. And not in a good sense. I've now lived here long enough to realize that race and egos supersede common sense in many corners. These problems were here before I arrived and will be here long after I'm gone. People, in their willing desires to push (an) agenda, tend to end run around that, which is plainly in their faces.
When public safety is in your blood after many years of service, it stays with you until the day you die. The good, the bad, the stories, the incidents, the laughs, the sadness ........ it becomes a fixture of who you are to a certain degree. What follows is based on professional observations and those of a private, taxpaying citizen of Memphis.
Looking at the profession .....
I won't begin to act as if I know the history of the MPD much less Memphis. But my eyes and ears tell me a lot.
1. On strikes. Apparently there was a strike back in the 70's. I can only imagine why. A commenter above mentioned that perhaps that might be a good idea again. The economy, structure and civility of Memphis would break; if not literally but figuratively. In a state that prides itself on being anti-union, I find both irony and hypocrisy in the desires of some employees with MPD and MFD to a lesser degree, to rely on union representation to any degree. From a political standpoint, I can only imagine the number of employees that support politicians in their private lives who run on an anti-union platform. And at the same time, have absolutely no problem letting some type of union representative be their mouth piece now, as in previous years.
Police administration including the director is responsible for being the lobbyist for his or her department (it's a large part of the job) in front of the city council. If you don't have an administration or director that will lobby on your behalf, change politicians who will subsequently change administrations. If you’re not paying attention to politicians that will both support and further your cause, you’re doomed to ignorance and the decisions that are subsequently placed on the shoulders of the ignorant. Politicians will say most anything to get elected. How often do members of the MPD including their friends and families stay on a politician whose platform includes taking care of the organization? You can’t cheer someone because he or she is feeding you lies to get elected. You need to know their voting record on other matters regarding public safety, their conflicts with public safety and most importantly, their tendency to back track. And then you need to follow them at every meeting and bring those matters to their attention again and again and again; even if they mention it first.
2. MPD needs a top to bottom outside audit including pay and benefits, staffing, stability, efficiency and proper utilization of resources. In regard to employment, I’ve read on numerous occasions that the city supposedly signed a contract in exchange for employment including healthcare and pay benefits. While that might be true in a utopian world, I find in higher than highly unlikely. Government does make contracts with entry level or existing employees. Government provides a stipulated offering that is always subject to change based on finances, policy etc. Mayors and council members spend money (or don’t) as they see fit. Especially when the powers of the state and or bond holders begin breathing down their necks. While any cut in pay or benefits is always a kick in the teeth, that’s how businesses function and government is a business. If members of the MPD do in fact believe they have a leg to stand regarding the signing of a mutual contract that has been reversed, I would suggest contacting a lawyer who specializes in contract law. Read the fine print and remember that both promises and contracts are made to be broken.
There’s an old saying that if you want to make someone feel pain, hit them in their pocket book. Make a person stand up and take notice? Hit them in their pocketbook.
In regard to city finances including money for public safety raises and health benefits, The City of Memphis is a money tree. The problem is, there is no aggressive enforcement of violations resulting in fees paid to the city. On any given day, I can drive around within the city limits and within 30-45 minutes can spot at least a half dozen vehicles with expired license tags. I’ve noticed this since I moved here and continue to be amazed that this continues to exist. And, with Memphis crooks and unlawful drivers being constantly publicized, some percentage of those expired tag drivers have outstanding warrants.
On interstate drug interdiction. Does a unit exist solely for the purpose of 24/7/365 surveillance and confiscation? Most people know that Memphis, if not a drug hub, has a considerable amount of drugs at any given time moving along I-55 and I-40. Rarely do we hear or read about a major bust which should be plastered on the media. There’s plenty of drugs and money moving through Memphis and like expired tags, money to be made. Memphis has a lot of ignorant (I didn’t know, defense) “citizens” and Pettis wannabes. They stick out like sore thumbs and are easily identifiable with the right resources.
On citations for shooting guns and fireworks in the city, more money if only the laws are aggressively enforced. When I hear “yea, it’s against the law but not enforced”, I wonder who’s running the show at City Hall.
Looking at MPD as a taxpaying citizen .....
I’ve had few encounters with members of MPD since moving here. A couple of years back, our neighborhood started an online neighborhood forum. Among the many things discussed is crime close to us and MPD response times to incidents. Many of my neighbors have given up on expecting to see MPD in an emergency. Response times are the biggest focus. Neighbors feel like their tax dollars are being wasted or at a minimum, under-utilized.
Perceptions and first impressions mean a lot. Police that I’ve encountered have all had the same sullen attitude. Officers I’ve never laid eyes on beforehand. With attitudes that appear detrimental to cohesiveness between citizens and officers alike.
Finally, I’m a true believer in the fact that policing (especially in this day and time) is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. I’ve seen police officers shot, I’ve seen them killed. I’ve seen a partner who remains forever changed mentally, by such tragic consequences. I’m also a life long supporter of those involved government public safety. But I’m not a fool. I can smell the sourness of a few and how it impacts the many. Policing is an exercise in extreme psychology and at times, that psychology can haunt an officer forever.
I’d be more than willing to participate in a 1 cent city wide sales tax increase to fund officers’ pay increase and healthcare benefits. In exchange, I expect to see more pro-active policing including timely responses and initiatives. The new Mayor says he will focus on crime and safety like a laser. I firmly believe that providing for those officers will be part of the plan.
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By Micaela Watts
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