Police increase security for Graceland Vigil - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police increase security for Graceland Vigil

Thousands of fans flock to Graceland every Elvis week. Many say it's a good thing they don't get off the beaten path because crime is out of control.

"This is still a wonderful neighborhood, nice neighborhood, great neighborhood--but there's problems," says longtime resident Paul Toomey.

That includes everything from drugs and prostitution to much more serious crimes.

"There's been two homicides in the past month in this neighborhood--the number of burglaries is picking up," says Toomey.

Dr. Renee Jeffery says there was a recent carjacking across the street from her house.

"At gunpoint and in the afternoon," says Jeffery.

The problems aren't lost on police who have increased patrols in response to what they call a recent spike in crime.

"Aggravated assaults has really increased on us," says Major R.E. Prewitt with Memphis Police.

One thing police are doing is sweeping through apartment complexes looking for weapons, drugs, and stolen vehicles. Police say apartment communities can often become clusters of crime.

"We go door to door--we check cars, we check individuals," says Prewitt.

And he's encouraged by a renewed interest in neighborhood watch..

"We've been trying to link with our citizens so they can be our eyes and ears," Prewitt adds.

And many are up for a fight no matter how bad it gets.

"I'm just not going to be chased out by the thugs and the drug dealers--we're not going to," says Dr. Jeffery.

We crime-mapped the neighborhood immediately adjacent to Graceland. Here's what we found over the last 30 days:

14 Aggravated Assaults

31 Burglaries

2 Homicides

29 Larcenies

18 Vehicle Larcenies

15 Motor Vehicle Thefts

13 Narcotics Arrests


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