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Testimonials

Image of Bill Oldham, Shelby County Sheriff 2010-2018, Former Memphis Police Director

Bill Oldham, Shelby County Sheriff 2010-2018,
Former Memphis Police Director

I’ve seen a great deal of change since I was first elected Sheriff in 2010. Unfortunately, what has been happening in Memphis these last couple of years shows why it is important to recruit and keep law enforcement and firefighter professionals. Crime is up in Memphis in large part because the number of officers on the streets is down—not because they can’t recruit good people—they just can’t keep them here. They leave to go where there is better pay and benefits—especially those benefits that were promised to them when they were hired.


The Memphis Public Safety Referendum is the only Referendum on the ballot and located at the very end. The Referendum will raise monies to fight crime and save lives three ways. First, by restoring what was taken from our First Responders during budget cuts of 2014 and 2016. Second, it dedicates money for Pre-Kindergarten programs which helps prevent crime by providing good education in a child’s early years. Third, you improve response times by police and fire when they don’t have to slow down for potholes. It’s that simple.

When you vote on October 3rd or during early voting make sure you go the Referendum that is last on the ballot and vote “FOR” a safer and more secure Memphis.”


- Bill Oldham, Shelby County Sheriff 2010-2018, Former Memphis Police Director

Image of Mike Williams, President, Memphis Police Association

Mike Williams, President,
Memphis Police Association

In 2011, we had more than 2,400 active duty police officers and saw some of the lowest violent crime numbers ever recorded. After the cuts 500 officers left the department and crime has gone up dramatically. Help us recruit and keep good officers here, get our ranks back up where they should be, and crime will go down. Vote “FOR” the Referendum.

Thomas Malone, President, Memphis Fire Fighters Association

Thomas Malone, President,
Memphis Fire Fighters Association

Retention is the biggest issue. It costs thousands of dollars to recruit and train firefighters and police officers. Memphis taxpayers spend the money to train them but because of low pay and health insurance, they leave to work for another city, sometimes in another state. We need to pay them enough and have the benefits to keep them here.

Image of Mariam Montgomery, Memphis Firefighter

Mariam Montgomery, Memphis Firefighter

The city of Memphis spends money to train new firefighters. If they leave after a few years because of health insurance or reduced pay we all suffer. Your vote will help keep firefighters on the job.

Image of Rachel Hohenberg, Memphis Resident

Rachel Hohenberg, Memphis Resident

No doubt our first responders are well trained, but the day to day grind of putting your life on the line, worrying about the next call, takes its toll. They need to be compensated like the professionals they are including the health benefits they earned.

Image of John Covington, Memphis Police Assn

John Covington, Memphis Police Association

You can’t recruit your way out of a retention crisis. After millions spent on recruitment over the last 4 years, the city is still hundreds of officers below the recommended complement of 2,480 police officers needed to keep the citizens of Memphis safe.

Image of Matt Tomek, Memphis Fire Fighters Association

Matt Tomek, Memphis Fire Fighters Association

Every city in Shelby County, Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, and Lakeland all charge the additional ½ penny sales tax. Memphis adding ½ penny to support first responders, pre-Kindergarten, and fixing potholes won’t cause people to move outside the city—because they already pay the ½ penny too.

Image of Lisa Akin, Spouse of Memphis Police Officer

Lisa Akin, Spouse of Memphis Police Officer

The crime rate went up after more than 500 officers left the department due to budget cuts. Passing the referendum will help us recruit and keep officers working in Memphis. Do that and the crime rate will go down.

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