Memphis Police Department Facebook page stirs up controversy

Memphis Police Department Facebook page stirs up controversy.

Controversy is arising in Memphis, Texas after the police chief started a department Facebook page. The chief says it is an effort to keep folks safe and informed, but now it is up for city officials to decide.

Most police departments in larger cities have Facebook pages for the purpose of being transparent with residents. This page is fairly new to Memphis and not everyone is on board.

Memphis police chief, Chris Jolly, has been chief for six years. He says he started the Facebook page to keep folks safe and informed. He says the response has been great.

"The Facebook page has just begun and I think that's one reason we like it here because we feel safe," said Alyce Parrish, Memphis resident. "We have a great police department. We have a wonderful chief of police"

Chief Jolly shares articles on the page, along with information on crime in the area. It is a way for folks to stay informed and give tips to the police department.

"It is a tool for the neighborhood I think," said Parrish.

Parrish says it makes her feel safe, but some posts have raised a concern. City officials discussed the page at a city council meeting last week.

"I was appalled that one council member really spoke very disrespectfully to our chief of police," said Parrish. "He was disrespectful to the council and I believe to the townspeople."

ABC 7 reached out to the city and they declined to comment, but said they will consider review of the Facebook page in Monday's open meeting.

"I believe that the city council decided that they wanted to view the posts before they were put out," Parrish said.

This was suggested in last weeks meeting. No decisions have been made, but folks who attended the meeting say the city plans to censor the Facebook page. Jolly made a post two days ago asking residents what they want to see on the page.

"Well they're sincere," said Buddy Parrish, Memphis resident. "They want to make things right. We want to make things right."

Buddy Parrish says he appreciates the page and what Jolly is trying to accomplish in Memphis.

The mayor declined to go on camera because these social media issues have not been discussed at the meeting yet.

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