Crime-fighting plans released by Memphis mayoral candidates - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Crime-fighting plans released by Memphis mayoral candidates

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

With less than one month before the Memphis mayoral election on October 8, the polls show that crime is your main concern.

Four of Memphis' eight mayoral candidates released their plans to solve the city's crime problem. Some were more comprehensive than others, but each candidate said crime is his number one priority.

As candidates squabble over how to solve the crime problem, WMC Action News 5's Kontji Anthony asked how they are thinking outside of the box in order to get a handle on crime.

Harold Collins said a program launched under the previous administration should not be sitting dormant.

"We have an abundance of businesses now that have cameras all around their establishments," said Collins. "We should be able to tie into their cameras now with the technology we have. That's a $4.5 million project sitting there we could really utilize."

Jim Strickland has ideas to streamline operations and increase officers in one move.

"We need to move the animal control officers from the shelter into the police department so we can better utilize uniformed officers so they're not chasing so many stray dogs," he suggested.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said it is all about technology.

"Expand the use of the Real Time Crime Center to neighborhoods, not just commercial areas," Wharton said. "Body cameras, which are well on the way to being deployed, dash cameras, rear view cameras, GPS on each vehicle."

But, those cameras and GPS were supposed to be in place 10 days ago. They are still not deployed.

Mike Williams wants to use new methods with teens.

"Get a boot camp where we take them out of the situation they're in because there's not enough room in Juvenile Court," Williams explained. "We don't want to make it for those kids that commit violent crimes. We want to make it for those kids that are borderline."

Each candidate agrees that Memphis needs more officers, youth activities, and mentorship opportunities. 

Here is a brief synopsis of each candidate's plan:

Memphis Councilman and former Shelby County District Attorney aide Harold Collins’ plan includes:

  • Restoring the police complement to 2,400 officers by aggressively recruiting officers.
  • Supporting components of Blue Crush, from strengthening neighborhood and business watch programs to tracing the sale of illegal guns.
  • Establishing a coordinated approach to juvenile crime with the courts, schools, social services and other agencies).

Attorney and Memphis Councilman Jim Strickland’s plan includes:

  • 100% commitment to Blue CRUCH crime hot spot tracking analytics to fight crime before it happens.
  • Increased civilian involvement in the police force
  • Recruit and retain police officers.

Incumbent Mayor A C Wharton’s plan includes:

  • Adding officers to the current complement.
  • Using smart technology like body cameras and license plate readers.
  • Using more Police Service technicians to free up peace officers from responding to minor traffic and nuisance calls.

Memphis Police Association President and officer Mike Williams’ plan includes:

  • Increasing the number of officers on the streets.
  • Restoring health care cuts to city employees.
  • Use more institutional knowledge of patrol officers - not just relying on Blue CRUSH crime hot spot tracking software.

Click the links below to see the candidates' full interviews with WMC Action News 5's Kontji Anthony:

The candidates’ plans can be found at their respective websites, which are listed below:

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