South Bluffs neighborhood pushes for more SkyCops to deter crime

(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Feb. 20, 2019 at 5:03 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Downtown residents in the South Bluffs area are pushing for SkyCop cameras to surround their neighborhood.

Take a drive downtown and you’ll see it all around you – tremendous growth from condos to a new movie theater.

Some downtown residents fear more growth means more opportunities for crime.

"We know that there is an increase in crime in the area, we've seen it, we've seen reports of it including in our own community,” said Christine Pascus from South Bluffs Neighborhood Watch.

She’s talking about reports like the high-profile shooting death of Memphis Chamber of Commerce CEO Phil Trenary on Front Street last September as well as several other incidents.

Pascus said she thinks SkyCop cameras - video and audio surveillance systems mounted on towers with flashing blue lights - equipped with gunshot detection, thermal imaging and license plate recognition capabilities will help police solve crimes faster.

"We have a lot of support from our neighbors within the community that are interested in helping us achieve our goal in putting SkyCop cameras in all the entrances and exits of South Bluffs,” Pascus said.

The city awarded South Bluffs Neighborhood watch $2,500 for each of the five SkyCop cameras.

"Our hope is with a greater number of people involved in looking out for one another, being aware of our surroundings helping Memphis police by reporting tips that could lead to crime, and that all that combined will reduce the crime in this area,” Pascus said.

A Memphis Police Department spokesperson said crime in the North Main Precinct is actually down from this time last year.

They also say they’re actively recruiting additional officers to keep the streets safe.

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