City hoping to implement more SkyCop cameras

City hoping to implement more SkyCop cameras
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An East Memphis neighborhood is hoping to make communities safer and lower in crime.

Two weeks after a neighborhood donated funds to the Memphis Police Department to buy SkyCop cameras, two more neighborhoods followed suit. The neighborhoods donated about $25,000 each.

Now, city council is working on ways to help less wealthy neighborhoods buy cameras to lower crime.

Ed Wallis said the Hedgemore neighborhood near Walnut Grove Road and Goodlett Street started coming together to stop crime last July.

"One of our neighbors, who is a senior citizen, was actually attacked inside of his home by someone who had done some landscaping work for him," Wallis said.

Wallis said the incident put his neighborhood on edge. Since then, they have collected close to $25,000 to buy and maintain three SkyCop cameras for their neighborhood.

"I think it makes us much safer. First of all, it's a deterrent," Wallis said.

Interim Police Director Mike Rallings has supported private donations of SkyCop cameras for that very reason.

"Where we have deployed our SkyCop cameras, we have seen a reduction in crime," Rallings said.

He said they also help solve crimes after they've been committed.

However, not every neighborhood has the money to buy these expensive camera systems.

Tuesday, Rallings and City Council members said they are working on a plan to help less wealthy neighborhoods come up with funds for the cameras.

"We are talking about what we can do to help out those neighborhoods," Rallings said. "So we're just looking at everything right now."

Wallis said he hopes other neighborhoods will step up and help in the effort to keep everyone safer.

"It's a lot cheaper than boots on the ground if there can be a number of cameras throughout the city," Wallis said.

City council members hope to be ready to present their idea for the funds in the next few weeks.

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