SkyCop camera purchases adding security to neighborhoods - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

SkyCop camera purchases adding security to neighborhoods

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

A Memphis apartment complex is taking safety into their own hands with a new purchase.

The City View Towers, located near the Interstate 240 exit on Union Avenue, collected more than $13,600 for two SkyCop cameras.

If approved in Tuesday's Memphis City Council meeting, the Memphis/Shelby County Law Enforcement Foundation will donate the SkyCops to the Section 8 housing complex.

Dennis Holmes, who lives in City View Towers, said the SkyCop cameras make him feel safer.

"It can't hurt it. It's got to be better than what it is,” Holmes said.

Holmes said he has lived there for more than a year, and there are times he and other residents do not feel safe outside.

"It's across the street where they want us to go to smoke,” he said. “It's a lot of crime, lot of drugs, lot of different things, gang members. And these senior citizens got to go over there. No smoking on property."

Over the last few months, the Belle Meade, River Oaks, and Hedgemoor subdivisions in East Memphis all bought SkyCops.

"Another tool in the toolbox to help make the streets safer,” Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said.

The city council approved roughly $450,000 in the budget to buy 70 new SkyCop cameras that will be split evenly between council districts.

Rallings is a fan of the cameras, but does not believe they are any match for having boots on the ground.

"Cameras are great, but at the same token, we need police officers to help respond to events, and also help us in our crime prevention, our community outreach, and our apprehension of our criminal offenders,” Rallings said.

Each SkyCop camera system costs about $6,000-$8,000. Rallings said when neighborhoods and communities spend their own money to buy SkyCop cameras, it allows MPD to move around other cameras and use their resources more effectively.

The crime-deterring cameras have flashing blue lights, Memphis Police Department logos, cameras, and license plate readers. The cameras are equipped to send data to the MPD Real Time Crime Center.

"I would think SkyCam would be great, especially senior citizens, you know, so that there is a layer of protection we feel good about,” Holmes said.

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