Assistant chief no longer with Memphis Police after Georgia residency controversy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Assistant Memphis Police Chief Shawn Jones is no longer with the city as of Monday, Mayor Paul Young and Interim Chief C.J. Davis said.

“We believe that he’s done great work for the city but it’s time for him to move on,” Young said.

Both she and Young said Jones had served admirably since taking the role in September 2021.

Young denied that the move was due to questions over Jones’ residency, but was part of an effort to take the city in a new direction. Young said it was his decision.

“Really for me, it was just a decision based on what is going to take the organization, MPD, to the next level,” Young said.

Assistant Memphis Police chief lives in Georgia: MPD

A way for the department to do that is by making a change to leadership.

“Ever since I came into office, there have been dialogues around morale of the force and things that people are upset about or frustrated with internally,” Young said. “And one of the names that would come up would be his. And I think he was making moves and taking actions that were necessary, but it also caused some conflict.”

But the news conference comes a few days after news broke last week that Jones, who came to the department from Atlanta along with Davis, was still living and voting in Georgia.

That prompted backlash from some city leaders.

Davis said Jones’ residency was not at issue with state law because he had a home here.

“Chief Jones came to work every day, took very few days off, and lived in Harbor Town,” Davis said.

Davis also said Jones’ role was never meant to be permanent.

“His role to come and assist in my moving here was part of supporting me in an administration where I needed someone who could help me do things that was familiar with the way that I like to operate,” Davis said. “But he was never, he never intended to live in the city of Memphis permanently.”

City leaders strike back at ‘part-time’ police official with Georgia address

Jones made more than $177,000 annually with MPD.

The focus now, they say, is moving forward in terms of making Memphis the best it can be.

This means the mayor’s administration is looking at all departments to make sure they are led by the most adequate personnel.

“All of our directors and chiefs are appointed employees. So they serve at the will and pleasure of the mayor,” Young said. “So we are looking at everybody every day because at the end of the day, it’s about getting results.”

As for what’s next, Chief Davis says they have done some reorganizing within the department to cover the responsibilities Jones leaves behind.

Whether or not they will replace him was not made clear.

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