Tips + FAQs


Crime Tips

The Memphis Police Department’s mission is to protect the public safety of all citizens of Memphis, but our officers can not do it without the eyes and ears of you – the community.

The following tips will help to make you and your family safer while also showing you how to become a part of the MPD Team – so that we may serve and protect Memphis – our community – together.

At home?

Lock your doors and windows when leaving your residence. Most residential burglaries occur during the daytime. Know who is at your door before opening it. Screen doors and chain locks provide false security. Obtain identification. If they show you an ID for a service company (i.e.Cable, phone, etc.)call their employer and verify who they are and why they are at your door. Consider installing peepholes in all entryway doors. Mark your property with your Driver License number, that way it can be traced ONLY to you if it is stolen.

Remember the three L’s of Crime Prevention: LIGHTS, LOCKS & the LAW! Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times, and call the Law when you see something suspicious

Are you involved?

Know your neighbors. Consider forming a Neighborhood Watch Group in your neighborhood. Join your Precinct’s Citizen’s Police Academy. Contact our Crime Prevention Bureau for more information. Their number is 774-6705.


Prior to installing home-security devices – think fire safety first. Would the device prevent you from getting out of your home? Do you have pet doors? They provide entry for pets, but they may also provide entry for criminals. Privacy fences give you privacy, but they also give the criminal concealment from outside view. Secure your garage door, even when you are at home. Burglaries and thefts take minutes or even seconds to commit.
DON’T open your door until you know who is there. When you are not home, leave lamps on timers and consider leaving a radio or television on. Consider leaving porch lights on at night. LIGHTING is one of the most INEXPENSIVE crime deterrents. Secure your keys and keep them out of view. NEVER place identification tags on your key rings. Treat your garage door opener like your keys. NEVER leave your garage door opener inside a vehicle which is parked outside. Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed for better visibility. Keep windows clear and free of shrubbery and debris. Overgrowth may provide hiding places for criminals.

On vacation

When leaving town, have a trusted friend or neighbor take care of your home. NEVER cancel general deliveries such as mail, milk, newspapers and other services when leaving town or going on vacation. But don’t let those newspaper deliveries pile up either. If you will be away for an extended period arrange to have a neighbor cut your lawn. If you can, also have them move your car in the driveway so it appears you are still coming and going as usual. And NEVER leave your porchlight on ONLY when you go on vacation. This tells a thief come on in…we are on vacation!

You make the call!

The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!

Out on the town

Remove your keys and lock your doors when leaving your vehicle. It only takes seconds to steal a locked car without the keys – why make it easier for a thief by leaving the keys in the car? And NEVER leave extra keys inside the vehicle or under the hood. Secure your valuables in your trunk or take them with you. Don’t create temptation by leaving valuables within view inside your vehicle. When returning to your vehicle at night, be aware of your surroundings. Look underneath and inside your vehicle before entering.

Business solutions

Although most of these tips apply to homeowners, businesses can apply them to their anti-crime effort, too. The Memphis Police Department offers a program similar to Neighborhood Watch called Business Watch – Call your local police station to speak with the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator.

Are you being served?

In many situations it is unnecessary for an officer to come to you. Our Tel-Serve Bureau is designed to take non-emergency reports over the phone – this allows patrol officers to remain on active patrol. In the past, they have spent valuable patrol time taking reports where there was no suspect information. Call Tel Serve at 543-2774 to report non-emergency crimes. A Call Taker will take your information over the phone and file your report.

Getting personal

  • Stay alert by being aware of your surroundings.
  • Walk everywhere with a sense of purpose – show you are calm, confident and know where you are going.
  • Go with your gut feelings – if you feel uncomfortable, leave.
  • Carry your purse firmly and close to your body or better yet leave it at home and only carry what you need in your pocket – such as a small amount of money, keys, and maybe one credit card.
  • Keep your wallet in an inside coat or side trouser pocket.
  • Have your car or house key in your hand as you approach the door. If attacked use those keys as weapons!
  • Park in well-lighted areas that will be well-lighted when you return. Be sure to lock your car doors. If you jog, do not jog alone in isolated areas.
  • Do not hitchhike and never pick up hitchhikers.
  • Only list your last name and first initial in the phone book and on mail boxes.
  • Ask the phone company to not list your address in the book.
  • If you are concerned about crime and must go out, use the buddy system. Take a friend on that jog around your neighborhood. You’ll both benefit from it!

Want Some Cash?

If you see a crime being committed or know who committed one you can earn cash – up to $1,000! And it is all ANONYMOUS! Call 528-CASH or visit our crime stoppers website.


  • Remain calm. Try not to panic or show any signs of anger or confusion.
  • If the attacker is after your property, don’t resist. That watch, car, money – whatever is replaceable – YOU ARE NOT!
  • Don’t escalate this crime into a violent encounter. But NEVER let your assailant take you to another location. Your chance of survival is slim.
  • Make an effort to get an accurate description of your attacker: age, sex, race, complexion, body build, height, weight, type and color of clothing.
  • Call the police immediately, identify yourself and give your exact location. Do not leave the scene.
  • When you call 911 you will be asked several questions by the Call Taker. Be patient. While your are answering their questions they are keying in your information and dispatching the next available car. Any information you can provide to the dispatcher may help the officer en route to your call with apprehending the suspect.

    Be ready to provide the following information:

    • Your Name
    • Address
    • Phone Number
    • What Happened? Describe the event in as brief manner as possible.
    • When Did it Happen? Tell if the crime is in progress or when it occurred.
    • Who Did It? Name or describe the suspect or vehicle, if there is one.
    • Where Did They Go? Which way and how did they leave?

    Wait for the officer to arrive or to call you back. The time it takes for an officer to arrive will depend on many factors. All of our calls are prioritized by emergency status. A theft of a lawn mower may be aggravating but it is not an emergency. When the officer arrives she may ask you questions similar to those asked earlier. Please be patient so the officer can help you.


Need to pay a Traffic Ticket?

Need a Copy of a Police or Accident Report?

Interested in the MPD Vehicle Auctions?

Contact Vehicle Storage 
(901) 353-8200.

Are You a Victim of Internet Fraud?

I am interested in a career in law enforcement with the Memphis Police Department. What are the requirements and how do I apply?

To learn about becoming a Memphis Police Officer click HERE

I want to become more involved in my community and learn more about the Memphis Police Department. Does the MPD offer any community programs?

The Memphis Police Department?s Citizens Police Academy (CPA) is held several times a year at the eight precincts. Members of the CPA receive an in-depth look into how the various units within the police department function with instruction from officers, detectives and police specialists. Participants also ride along with officers to see first hand how police officers work. Many graduates of the CPA continue their involvement with the MPD by becoming Precinct Ambassadors.

The MPD also has programs such as the Police Athletic League (PAL) and the Scouting Program, which involve youth and officers working and playing together. Call 901-545-5700 for more information. Enrollment for these 3 programs is open and based on a first-come first-served basis. 

There are also 14 COACTs (Community Policing substations) that have active community programs and they welcome citizen involvement. For more information contact the precinct in your neighborhood.

What types of tickets are there?

City of Memphis police officers issue 3 different types of tickets, citation tickets, summons tickets, and ordinance tickets.

How much is my fine?

Ticket prices may be obtained by calling the Traffic Violations Bureau at (901) 545-5450, by email at [email protected]. Office hours are from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

How much time do I have to pay my ticket?

A citation ticket is a parking ticket that should be paid within 15 days after issuance or placed on the court docket for a hearing. After the 15 day grace period, any vehicle that has 3 or more unpaid citation tickets issued against it is subject to impoundment until all the tickets are paid.

A summons ticket is a ticket issued by an officer to a violator, signed by the violator, and has a court date on the bottom of the ticket. Unless the ticket is marked mandatory, it is payable for the first 15 days after receipt. 

If the ticket is not paid within 15 days after receipt, the violator must appear in court on the scheduled court date on the bottom of the ticket, and additional costs may be assessed. Failure to pay within 15 days or appear in court will result in a default judgment being taken the violator. Failure to pay a default judgment within 30 days may result in the suspension of the violator’s driver’s license. An ordinance summons is a ticket issued for ordinance violations other than traffic offenses and requires a mandatory court appearance. 

Can I pay my ticket by mail?

Yes. Fill in the information at the bottom of the back of the ticket and submit payment to: 
Traffic Violations Bureau
201 Poplar Avenue Room LL-80
Memphis, TN 38103

How can I pay my ticket in person?

You can pay your ticket in person from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm at:

Traffic Violations Bureau
201 Poplar Avenue Rook LL-80
Memphis, TN 38103

Or, you can pay in person from 10 am to 6 pm at any of the following precincts:

If your ticket involves one or more of the following, then you MUST appear in court:

  • Any violation resulting in serious personal injury
  • Speeding in excess of 25 MPH over the posted speed limit
  • Speeding in school zones
  • Overtaking, passing school buses
  • No driver?s license
  • Violation of state registration

There may be other cases that require your appearance in court. Call the phone number listed above if you are unsure of whether or not you have to appear in court. If you still have questions regarding your ticket, check our FAQ page first if your question is still not answered contact TVB. Questions regarding the court date or the cost should always be directed to TVB and can be snail mail, phone or email: [email protected].

Call 311 for a service request

Call 211 for community services


Stay Connected

Connect with us on Nextdoor

Join our email list

Sign up to get news straight from the source!