Cooper-Young businesses want more security - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cooper-Young businesses want more security

(WMC-TV) – The recent shooting and robbery captured in surveillance video in Cooper-Young has lead business owners, who want to keep their community safe, to create a list of requests and now the Memphis mayor is speaking out about their demands.

The surveillance video is harrowing. An attempted robbery in a Cooper-Young parking lot left a man shot in the hip for refusing to give away his money.

"It gets a lot of attention and properly so," said Memphis mayor A C Wharton. "Anytime you have someone get shot, you can't just say ‘Aw, that's just a minor incident.'"

The shooting was the third in a recent sequence of newsworthy criminal events in Cooper-Young.

Beth Gunn is still searching for her dog that disappeared during a home break-in and a woman who was shot on her own porch during a purse snatching has moved away.

In response, Memphis police posted a SkyCop at the intersection and the city said it has opened a dialogue with area residents and merchants who want more security.

"We're going to see what can be done in terms of more frequent patrols," Wharton said.

The mayor said says he's discussing the issue with MPD Director Tony Armstrong. Additional squad cars and private off-duty details are also under consideration.

However, Wharton said other neighborhoods want increased security too.

"Just as we're sitting here talking about Cooper-Young there's somebody else saying ‘You know, we really need to beef up (security) in our area too,"' he said.

Wharton said the police compliment is down about 40 officers, so it may be a matter of re-aligning resources everywhere.

"We're looking at it from a citywide perspective," Wharton said. "What we're able to do in one, we want to be able to do in the others. This is why we can't just come up with a knee-jerk reaction to that. We're coming up with a plan to increase visibility in all of our entertainment areas."

As for Cooper-Young specifically?

"It is a safe area," Wharton said. "Could it be safer? Absolutely. Yes."

Wharton said be careful, but don't worry.

The mayor said city officials hope to firm up a more concrete plan over the next two weeks and will meet with the Cooper-Young group at that time.

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