Memphis Police Association Union representing Memphis’s police officers caught lying…

At a  recent meeting with The Commercial Appeal editorial board, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton showed a side to his personality seldom seen in his many years of public service — anger.

The subject — commercials being aired by the Memphis Police Association, the union representing Memphis’s police officers. The ads claim the city’s “leadership” has used city tax money and offered tax breaks to companies like Mitsubishi and Electrolux, and then warns that “city leadership is threatening to lay off police and emergency services personnel to balance the budget.”

Wharton said he had been seeing the ads running “24-7” and that “it really irks me.”

Wharton has consistently said, since winning a special election in 2009, that he would do everything possible to avoid cuts in public safety. Mayoral spokeswoman Mary Cashiola wrote in an email: “In the budgets he has presented, laying off fire and police personnel has never been submitted, planned, or agreed to at any level.”

In trying to influence the Memphis budget hearings, the Memphis Police Association ran commercials claiming that a mayor who still has never proposed cuts in public safety areas was “threatening to lay off police and emergency services personnel to balance the budget.”

Though the mayor said he was “not going to rule out anything” he never said there were serious plans to lay off cops or emergency services personnel. In fact, he said such moves would be a “last resort” and the budget he eventually proposed calls for increased spending on public safety.

We therefore rule the police union’s statement False.


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