New program reduces violent crime in West Memphis

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) - A police operation that's only been active for nine months is already making a serious cut into crime.

The DETER program in West Memphis is an intelligence project that helps West Memphis Police Department put more officers in specific areas.

Captain Joe Baker said the program has already resulted in fewer people being shot or killed. He said the program is specifically designed to prevent violent crimes against people...and it's working.

Baker said the West Memphis violent crime rate has dropped 16 percent.

"It's a very targeted tactical enforcement effort in that community. It's going after specific locations and specific people that are causing a disruption in the community. The last thing we want to do is go in and upset the activity of the good people in this area," Baker said.

Baker also said a lot of the crime has ties to gang activity. In the coming months, Baker hopes to join forces with Memphis Police Department on projects to continue and expand the DETER program.

"I think the more information sharing we can do--on not only firearms but our persons of interest--it'll benefit both agencies very obviously," Baker said.

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