- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Memphis police are receiving a four-year, $6.1 million grant aimed at retaining and recruiting badly-needed officers.

Mayor Jim Strickland said Monday the grant from the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission contains retention bonuses between $6,400 and $7,000 that will be paid to officers over four years if they remain with the police department through that period.

Strickland said officers will be eligible for $2,000 bonuses if they refer a candidate to the police training academy and the candidate graduates and joins the force. Also included are pay increases for officers based on experience.

The city wants to raise the number of officers from 1,970 to about 2,300 by the year 2020. Officials have said the number of officers needs to increase for the force to combat crime more effectively.

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