Memphis police offer glimpse at new crime fighting plan - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis police offer glimpse at new crime fighting plan

The Memphis Police Department has a new approach to fighting crime and while all the details haven't been revealed, officials say the rank and file has been heavily involved in developing the new plan. The Memphis Police Department has a new approach to fighting crime and while all the details haven't been revealed, officials say the rank and file has been heavily involved in developing the new plan.

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Police Department has a new approach to fighting crime and while all the details haven't been revealed, officials say the rank and file has been heavily involved in developing the new plan.

Talks have begun to implement a community policing strategy and to realign neighborhood police precincts in Memphis.

The police department is not ready to release proposed maps of how the precincts would be realigned. But officials say the rank and file were heavily involved in mapping out the precinct assignments and new community policing strategies.

"Some precincts have a higher call load volume," said Memphis Police Association President Michael Williams, as he explained the focus of the new precinct realignment strategy. "Some precincts have a lesser call load volume. Some precincts have a greater distance mileage."

With that, he says the department is considering smaller patrol areas.

"Downsize the different wards and precincts that individuals work in, distribute the call load so that actually it will be better for the citizens," Williams said.

However, police have not yet released how the realignment may look.

"The response time would be a lot less," said Williams. "The area where officers patrol would be a lot smaller so they can concentrate on those areas a lot more as opposed to running all over the city."

Right now, there are nine precincts.

The coverage area ranges from 5 to 74 square miles. The population in each ward ranges from roughly 17,000 to 121,000 citizens.

Williams supports the community policing approach.

Last year, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong dissolved 16 COACT units and assigned one crime prevention officer to each of the nine precincts.

"They're going to come in and find out what the root of the problem is in that community, try to handle the blight issues, deal with social issues and anything else to help that community rebuild itself," Williams said.

He also said the plan will mean officers are no longer limited to responding to complaints.

It's unclear when the proposed maps will be released or if it will increase the number of precincts around town.

The realignment is up for another discussion at the next Memphis City Council meeting.

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Old Allen 121,496 Raines 95,178 Mt. Moriah 97,485 Union 67,350 Tillman 90,136 South Main 17,321 Airways 70,753 Appling Farms 71,259 Ridgeway 52,827 More>>

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