Crime hot spots to receive SkyCop cameras - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Crime hot spots to receive SkyCop cameras

A skycop camera (Source: WMC Action News 5) A skycop camera (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Dozens of SkyCop cameras have been spread across Memphis, but mainly in the more affluent neighborhoods that can afford to purchase them on their own. However, the city is taking steps to place the SkyCops in less-affluent areas as part of the Neighborhood Sentinel Program.

There are 21 hot spots for crime in Memphis that city council members are working to try and address.

"We've heard gunshots, and about a week or so ago something happened in the neighborhood to where the police actually apprehended a person in my backyard," Lafarrah Fennell said.

Fennell said she wants the SkyCop cameras in her neighborhood to try and prevent and deter crime.

She is a mother of two small children and is relieved to hear that her neighborhood is one of the 21 possible areas that could see the cameras installed.

"It's reassuring, yes," she said. "That would bring my scared down just a little bit."

Memphis City Council funded the Sentinel program this year in an attempt to level the playing field and allow less affluent neighborhoods to receive SkyCop cameras.

The program funds 70 cameras in the first phase. That's 10 for each of the seven council districts.

Memphis Police Department presented data Tuesday to the council that shows three crime 'hot zones' in each council district. Those are all the areas in need of cameras. 

But, not every hot zone will receive cameras. The council will soon pick one hot zone in each district to mount 10 cameras each.

Councilman Philip Spinosa started the push for the program and said he is already looking ahead to expand the program with more cameras in more neighborhoods.

"Hopefully, get some funding now to roll out another purchase of cameras, so we can start doing that in this fiscal year," Spinosa said.

Fennell is hoping her neighborhood is chosen to receive the cameras because she thinks more eyes in the sky watching and leading to more arrests and convictions will drive criminals away.

"If I was a criminal, I would, because that's one more chance of me getting caught," Fennell said.

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