Memphis police operations net nearly 400 felony arrests this summer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nearly 400 people were arrested on felony charges, contributing to a 6% decrease in overall crime, thanks to two police operations this summer, Memphis Police director Michael Rallings said Tuesday.

In total MPD says there were 392 felony arrests, 276 misdemeanor arrests, 63 misdemeanor citations and 8 juvenile summons for a total of 739 arrests.

Operation Spring Cleaning began April 27 and ran through June 7, and Operation Summer Heat III continued after that until Aug. 10, following an uptick in crime that began in March, Rallings said.

Officers from the city's Organized Crime Unit as well as uniform officers were assigned to high-crime areas at each Memphis station. Crimes included illegal firearms possession and drug possession.

A third program, Operation Safe Travels, resulted in 19,000 traffic stops with 11,000 citations and 360 arrests. Rallings said that program preceded Operation Grizzly Bear, which added Tennessee Highway Patrol and Shelby County deputies to Memphis interstates.

Noting the large number of seized weapons displayed at a press conference Tuesday, Rallings again took issue with a 2013 state law that allowed guns in cars, leading to a proliferation of weapons on Memphis streets, he said.

"Our state legislature needs to do something about it," Rallings said. "They did it, and they need to fix it."

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