New MPD summer safety plan begins Monday; focus on curtailing auto thefts

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 7:46 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A push to find some of the City’s most dangerous criminals.

In the next few weeks, the Memphis Police Department will be working with agencies to execute outstanding aggravated assault warrants.

This is just one part of MPD’s Summer Safety Plan. Work on the Summer Safety Plan actually started around the holidays in December.

MPD says they have conducted countless meetings with the community and business leaders about what they wanted to see in the plan.

It may be no surprise that the biggest concern on everyone’s list was curtailing auto thefts.

Starting Monday MPD will put their summer plan to work.

“Certainly this is more robust than what we’ve had during the covid years,” said Assistant Police Chief Don Crowe.

Crowe says reducing gun crimes and auto thefts are top priorities.

Uniform patrol will have an increased presence during the evening hours at apartment complexes, restaurants, and retail parking lots.

Crowe says so far in 2023 MPD is averaging 4 and a half arrests of car thieves a day.

“But now we want everybody to take part in that, we want business leaders to take part in that, making their parking lot safe, so thieves won’t come on their parking lot and steal cars,” said Crowe.

Crowe says that means better lighting, adding private security, and integrating their surveillance camera with MPD’s Real Time Crime Center through the Connect 2 Memphis Program.

The program gives officers a technological advantage when tracking auto thefts.

MPD says about 230 businesses have signed up for the program. Crowe hopes to have over 10,000 businesses join the program.

More information on the program can be found here.

So far there have been over 6,000 car thefts in 2023, a crime often committed by juveniles.

This summer there has been a renewed push to enforce the city’s curfew laws.

“It should have been enforced years ago and parents should be held accountable,” said Darrius Stanford who works next door to the Greenlaw Community Center.

This week there was a discussion of using the facility to house teens who break curfew until their parents can pick them up.

That idea was shut down, instead, MPD says this summer, curfews will be enforced similar to every other summer.

“So when an officer encounters a juvenile for juvenile curfew violation, it’s incumbent that they find the parent or guardian and reunite that child with the parent, so it’s the same that we’ve done last summer and the summer before that,” said Crowe.

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