Other Police Officers Aggressively Recruiting Memphis Police

MEMPHIS, TN &#8211 The Austin Police Department is hoping to take advantage of another city’s financial problems.

Memphis Police Association leaders told us a lot of officers are interested after the city changed their benefits.

“Dallas has been here. Aurora, Colorado was here a couple of weeks ago. Louisville was here and Nashville,” said Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams.

Now Austin police have touched down. Lt. Jerry Gonzalez says they received dozens of calls from trained officers and could not pass up the opportunity to swoop in.

If they are calling us, why not go to them and put out what we have to offer,” said Gonzalez.

The officers would go through a modified academy with pay close to $15,000 more than what Memphis offers.

Gonzalez says they want qualified candidates.

Right now the department is 200 applications below what they need.

“Last year we processed about 1,200 applications. And out of those 1,200 we probably hired about 120 people,” said Gonzalez.

So far five Memphis officers have applied in Austin.

The Mayor of Memphis doesn’t want them to go, but understands.

“We will not hold that against them. They have families to look out for,” said A C Wharton.

Gonzalez tells us they recruit in all cities in Texas. He believes by traveling outside of the state, APD can get officers as diverse as Austin.

“We have trips planned at different military bases Camp Pendleton, Fort Bragg,” said Gonzalez, “We’ve gone to California, we’ve gone to New Mexico, South Texas and El Paso.”

APD says this trip is part of the yearly recruiting budget that is set at $40,000. We’re told money is spent on recruiting trips, career fairs, community fairs, and other local events the recruiting unit is invited to where it can showcase the department. The money is also used to purchase giveaway items during the events they attend.

From KEYETV.com