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TN Politics: What MPD Needs in a New Director


A recent unemployment bill in the general assembly and the retirement of Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings are discussed in this week's conversation with political analyst Otis Sanford. 

The proposedbillin the general assembly would tie the length of unemployment benefits to the state's current average unemployment rate. Republicans argue that in a state where some businesses are hurting for workers, it shouldn't take much longer than 12 weeks for someone to find a new job. Currently, benefits last up to 26 weeks, but the state also has some of the lowest weekly unemployment payments in the country. 

Also this week, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings has officially stepped down from his position at a time when law enforcement policies and procedures are being intensely scrutinized nationwide. Political analyst Otis Sanford says that while Rallings was a good communicator, he also didn't have a "major, major" crisis on his hands, such as the George Floyd killing.

Replacing Rallings, Sanford says, could be a tall order, and maybe it's time to look closely at candidates who don't have long histories within the Memphis Police Department. 

Reporting from the gates of Graceland to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Christopher has covered Memphis news, arts, culture and politics for more than 20 years in print and on the radio. He is currently WKNO's News Director and Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. Join his conversations about the Memphis arts scene on the WKNO Culture Desk Facebook page.