New police officers to step up patrols of Oxford's square - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New police officers to step up patrols of Oxford's square

(WMC-TV) - A recent fight in Oxford's downtown square has induced city leaders to appoint more police patrols in that area.

The recent fight, which was captured by surveillance cameras, happened after a huge crowd poured out of the Lyric Theater. The action spilled out into the street as police arrived.

The images prompted Oxford's mayor and board of alderman to take action, agreeing to hire at least four new police officers to help keep things under control.

"They recognize the fact that we've got our hands full down there," Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin said. "We need the officers there."

Martin said he was able to convince city officials that pulling officers from other parts of the city wasn't enough.

"Everybody that I pull off patrols to stay downtown to work that area, that's basically leaving areas of town without routine patrols," he said.

According to Martin, if it wasn't for the new cameras, he wouldn't be able to make his case to the Alderman that extra help is needed.

"The large number if people in the street and everything is one thing, and the vulnerability of the officers," he said.

The officers would work primarily nights, on evenings when special events are planned, or on busy nights from Thursday through Saturday.

"We'll use foot patrol and be on bicycle," he said. "It's not likely they'll be in cars that pass through. You put your officers on foot."

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