MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis City Council’s Public Safety Committee was updated Tuesday on collaboration efforts between the Memphis Police Department, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and U.S. Marshals.
Memphis Police a released video of three armed suspects, two of the suspects holding what appear to be assault-style weapons, opening fire at the corner of Vollintine and North McNeil.
“I was going to the bathroom and was coming outside and sit on the porch and the next thing I know, I heard BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, and I sat right here in my wheelchair,” said Jean Matthews.
Matthews’ next-door neighbor was killed in Sunday’s shooting.
“He’d go to the store for me, get my garbage. He was everything, young man, respectable,” she said.
While Matthews tries to make sense of the tragedy, the Memphis City Council’s Public Safety Committee was updated Tuesday on MPD’s crime fighting efforts and its partnership with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and U.S. Marshals.
Committee members wanted to know how effective THP’s involvement is.
“They are out there enforcing the laws and it’s also having a deterrent effect on some of the more violent crimes that we’re having because they are out there in force and they have been on the interstate. I’m sure you have seen them,” said Stephen Chandler, MPD Deputy Chief of Special Operations.
Right now, there are about 14 THP troopers assigned to aid Memphis Police, but that number is expected to increase. THP’s presence is freeing up uniformed officers to handle more 911 and priority calls.
Police said THP is a “force multiplier” as MPD struggles with its low number of boots on the ground.
“We’re trying to get our recruiting numbers up, I think we’re doing a good job of putting classes through as fast as we can hire people,” Chandler said.
The committee requested data on the collaborations’ effectiveness and MPD’s efforts in hiring more police service technicians as well as recruiting high school students into some of MPD’s mentoring programs.