Memphis Police Safe Summer Initiatives
Effective Start Date: May 29, 2023
In recent months, we all have witnessed an increase in crime throughout our city and the country. We want to reassure the citizens of Memphis that the Memphis Police Department will remain vigilant throughout this summer to prevent and respond to crime problems proactively. Working closely with approximately 70 leaders throughout every work area of the MPD, we have developed a robust plan that will address a myriad of crime issues in our neighborhoods and business corridors this summer and beyond. Utilizing crime analysis data and community input, the department will focus on reducing gun crimes, motor vehicle thefts, and thefts from motor vehicles. This summary briefly outlines the highlights of the larger comprehensive plan.
To reduce aggravated assaults and gun crimes, there will be additional visibility in common hot-spot areas where shootings have frequently occurred. The department will deploy additional resources in partnership with our federal and local partners for vigorous apprehension and prosecution of persons committing violent crimes, especially gun crimes. Addressing gun violence by repeat offenders has been a major challenge in our city. In the next few weeks, the MPD will coordinate with other department personnel to execute outstanding aggravated assault warrants during the summer months.
Our statistics show that most of the violent crime in our city is being committed by a small segment of our population. This requires a laser-focused approach on those committing the offenses. The department will also facilitate an operation with the U.S. Federal Marshals to apprehend the most dangerous fugitives in our city. To support the reduction of gun violence, we supported our federal U.S. Attorney’s recent announcement to aggressively charge and prosecute individuals caught with modified Glock switches and gun conversion devices.
The MPD’s uniform patrol will conduct increased directed patrol during evening hours at apartments, restaurants, and retail parking lots to curtail car break-ins and other criminal activity. The recent addition of steady blue lights on patrol cars assists with visibility at a distance. In addition, we will work closely with private business owners to utilize proactive measures in reducing property crimes, to include access to exterior cameras to identify potential suspects and vehicles used in crimes.
During the summer months, Memphis has historically experienced an increase in traffic violations. We have witnessed drivers traveling throughout our city streets and interstates who intentionally disrupt the natural flow of traffic with erratic and reckless driving. To address the various traffic-related problems in our city, the MPD has partnered with the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to assist with the relentless enforcement of traffic laws related to drag racing and speeding on our city streets and interstates. The MPD has recently added 10 new uniformed Traffic Enforcement Unit officers to assist in reducing traffic offenses city-wide. The Department also added 9 new motorcycle units, adding more visibility and to assist in the enforcement of moving violations. We encourage all our motorists to be respectful of each other and adhere to the posted speed limit.
The department’s Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) personnel are directing their attention to popular shopping and restaurant districts city-wide, where we have seen increases in thefts from autos, auto thefts, and retail thefts. The MPD’s expanded camera network has been instrumental in helping to solve recent retail thefts and car break-ins. The Real Time Crime Center is a mission-critical technology hub that combines numerous data sources to provide officers with comprehensive intelligence to identify patterns and fight – even prevent – crime. The result of these integrated solutions is more proactive policing with advanced capabilities.
The Connect2Memphis campaign, the expansion of the RTCC, will be at full launch this summer for the purpose of increasing the geographical footprint of the city’s camera network. Video integration accessed through public and private partnerships will enhance our real-time investigative capacity to better intercept and solve crimes and monitor major event spaces that attract large crowds.
All MPD commanders will participate in monthly business and community information sharing sessions to provide crime data and discuss measures to collaboratively address crime trends. In addition, there will be an increased presence of MPD sworn staff at Parks & Recreation facilities during activities, outdoor gatherings and festivals, and other city sponsored youth activities. The Community Engagement Section will host several youth-related summer activities to include Summer Camps, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and summer sports through the Police Athletic League (PAL). These programs are just a few ways to help keep Memphis youth happy, active, and engaged during the summer months.
For the most vulnerable youth across our city, summer can be a difficult season to navigate. When necessary, the MPD will contact the appropriate resources to assist in resolving any matter involving our youth absent any criminal charges. In cases of curfew violations, law enforcement agencies have the discretion to seek other alternatives for youthful offenders, such as reuniting youth with their parents if possible or contacting the Department of Children Services (DCS). As our youth begin their summer breaks, we wish for safe and enjoyable experiences for all our children in the coming weeks and encourage parents and guardians to play an intimate role in their whereabouts and their activities.