Covington's 'Blue Light Initiative' leads to decrease in crime - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Covington's 'Blue Light Initiative' leads to decrease in crime

By Justin Hanson - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

COVINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - An increase in crime and gang activity in one community has lead police there to change the way they work.

Police in Covington have changed their shifts to accommodate when most of the crime happens -  and it has lead to a decrease in crime.

"I'm not worried about the bad people...because eventually we're going to get them --we're going to stay on those areas regardless if we have to do it year round," says Covington Police Chief Bennie Carver.

Covington's 'Blue Light Initiative' puts more officers on the streets during overnight hours when most of the crime occurs.

That - in combination with frequent traffic saturations - has lead to more than 150 arrests in the last two months. 

"I feel safe - much safer now than I have in the past," says Covington resident Paul Whitley.

Whitley helped launch the crime fighting effort. He has a barber shop inside his home, and became concerned when strangers started walking through his yard.

"Whenever I see anything that's going on unnecessarily - I will contact police immediately," he adds.

City officials say the economy is partly to blame for Covington's increase in crime and gang activity.

"When people's means are changed or go away, you may have people who are in desperate situations that do things they normally don't do," says Covington Mayor David Gordon.  

"There's not but 1 gang and that's the Covington police gang," states Carver.

And police are hoping more officers mean less crime.   

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