'Worship Watch' partners Memphis police with churches - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Worship Watch' partners Memphis police with churches

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

It's been reported that Memphis has more churches per capita than any other U.S. city. It's the prevalence of those churches that is causing Memphis police to reach out. 

"To come together to help find solutions to deal with juvenile crime, domestic violence,” said MPD Col. James Kirkwood.  “You name it, we're working on it." 

The goal of what is being called "Worship Watch" is to create permanent lines of communication among police, clergy, and their congregations.

It started in Frayser, where a meeting was held Tuesday evening at Union Grove Baptist Church.

"Getting the information straight from the police and being able to share it with our congregation makes a great impact on trying
to do what we're trying to do to make this community a better place," said Pastor Charlie Caswell.

"Pastors tend to talk to everybody,” said Col. Kirkwood.  “The lay members, the deacons, the sisters in the church are talking to everybody." 

Judge Dan Michael, Shelby County Juvenile Court, spoke during Tuesday’s meeting.

"You all know that our murder rate in Memphis is way out of control," said Michael.

He reiterated the importance of community involvement. That means church to people like Arquilla Thomas.

"You know, it's family in church, church/family,” said Thomas. “So church has to be in whatever is going on in the community."  

Many pray this renewed partnership helps.

"We're excited about it," said Col. Kirkwood. 

“Worship Watch” began in the Old Allen Station precinct. Other precincts are currently reaching out to churches city-wide.

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