MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced they have increased the number of state troopers in the Memphis area, and plan to continue those efforts in the months ahead. 

Gov. Bill Lee is the driving force behind this effort with hopes of growing the Tennessee Highway Patrol, specifically in Western Tennessee.

Memphis has been asking for more troopers for years and a few weeks ago Gov. Lee agreed to include them in his new budget.

This video was released in the fall to help bring in recruits. According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, that effort has been a success with more than 100 new recruits added to the force last year.

Governor Lee is hoping to add 100 more this year and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is giving him the green light. 

“I was in Nashville as recently as a week ago Monday asking that very help that you’re talking about police presence, highway patrol presence, more of it makes a difference in the safety of all citizens of Memphis,” Strickland said.

Mayor Strickland said he absolutely thinks this will make the roads of Memphis and Shelby County safer. 

According to the Memphis Police Department, there were 121 interstate shootings in 2021, but less than 100 when THP added patrols in 2022. 

The mayor hopes we can continue to roll in this direction. 

“When we’ve had saturations on the interstate with state highway patrol officers, frankly, the interstate shootings have gone down dramatically,” Strickland said.

In an added effort to attract law enforcement agents to the THP, the governor introduced a 4 percent pay scale increase on salary.