In a city where the violent crime rate is 350% higher than the national average, you would think that police protection would be a top priority. In Memphis, there is a 1 in 13 chance of becoming a victim of a crime. It has been near the top of the ten most dangerous cities in America for over a decade now. Policing the city should be the government’s first prerogative, but in recent years Memphis has made poor investments and miscalculations with the traditional pension plans; they are switching to more of a private- sector 401k plan. This has forced policemen and firefighters to pay higher premiums and lose some of their retiree health benefits. Over 552 officers last year took sick days to protest this proposal and over 200 officers left for safer jobs in other cities with better benefits. If police officers don’t feel like they are being supported or appreciated, why would they take their job seriously? They obviously haven’t because our city’s steady crime rate over the last decade. All workers need incentives to feel motivated to do their job well. Why are police officers any different?
Crime reduction is a major issue in Memphis, this plan is not a sufficient proposal to reduce it. The city government should find a way to make these public servants feel more appreciated so that they can better serve us.