A trio of ordinances seeking to restrict the Shelby County Sheriff’s office came up for a vote on the first of three readings this week.
The first proposal is a “request that the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office disbands and discontinues future use of all Sheriff’s Office specialized units and task forces and ends participation in multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency task forces.” It received a single yes vote, from sponsoring commissioner Britney Thornton. The vote was 1 for, 7 against, and 3 commissioners abstaining.
The second proposal is a request that the Sheriff ban “biased traffic stops and the use of pretextual traffic stops for low-level violations; 2) limit searches, questioning, and the use of unmarked vehicles; and 3) bar surveillance as an alternative to pretextual traffic stops.” Also sponsored by Commissioner Thornton, this ordinance received 3 yes votes, 5 no votes, and 5 abstained.
The third proposal is a “request that the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office compiles data related to traffic stops, arrests, use of force, and citizens’ complaints against law enforcement officers in a certain manner.” This one is sponsored by Thornton and two additional commissioners, and it received 8 yes votes, 2 no votes, and 2 abstentions.
I voted against all three proposals.
For months I have been working with the County Attorney, the lead Judicial Commissioner, the county’s pre-trial services leadership, and others to finalize a process for reporting all of the bail setting decisions being made at General Sessions Court.
That work is almost complete, and I invite you to join us for a special called meeting on Monday, September 18, at 3 p.m. At that meeting, these reports will be introduced for the first time, and the public will have an opportunity to ask questions about the decisions being made in our courts.
Please make plans to attend.
The meeting will be held in the lobby of the Vasco A. Smith Jr. County Administration Building at 160 N Main Street in Memphis.
Here are a couple of other highlights from our August meetings.
Cordova fire station lease renewed
A Shelby County fire station serving the unincorporated Cordova area will continue to operate from 7740 Trinity Road through June 2025 thanks to the board’s approval of a resolution I sponsored to extend the lease. As we know, the timely handling of lease contracts is not always a given in Shelby County Government.
Senior Tax Freeze update
A recent law passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Bill Lee allows counties to increase the income limit for the senior property tax freeze program from $43,980 to $60,000. I sponsored a resolution to implement the new limit alongside several other commissioners, and it passed unanimously at our August 14 meeting.
Supporting our schools
This month, it was my honor to join members of the Bartlett Education Foundation board to surprise Bartlett City Schools teachers whose grant applications were approved. Some of them are pictured above.
The Lakeland Education Foundation will be making similar grants to Lakeland School System teachers. Lakeland Currents has the story.
My thanks to the Board of Commissioners for approving the recent grant resolutions I sponsored to assist the good work being done by BEF and LEF.
Congratulations to all of our educators, and best wishes throughout this school year.
Upcoming public meetings
Sept 6 – Standing committees, 8:30 a.m.
Sept 11 – Commission meeting, 3 p.m.
Sept 18 – Special Called meeting: Judicial Commissioner report, 3 p.m.
Sept 20 – Standing committees, 8:30 a.m.
Sept 25 – Commission meeting, 3 p.m.
his month I am reading Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good, by Dilip Jeste, MD
Stay in touch
If you have a question or concern, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can speak with the Commission office by calling 901-222-1000.
I welcome your feedback on Facebook (@CommissionerMickWright) and X (@mickwright).
Thanks for reading.
Shelby County Commission – District 3