Police unveil new crime fighting plan

An operation that took dozens of criminals off Mid-South streets is making a comeback bigger than ever.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin announced major changes to the department this morning. It's a new effort to take their most successful crime-fighting program a full-time effort.

In 2005, Operation Blue Crush took hundreds of criminals off the streets without waiting for more crimes to happen.

"Instead of responding to crime as uniform patrol does, our team is going to go out and find the crime and deal with it immediately," said Maj. Randall O'Byrnes, the Blue Crush commander.

It's been such a success Memphis police reorganized and restructured in order to take it full-time.

Officers will focus on hot spots to reduce crime in the community.

"I promise you this, this plan is proven," said Dir. Larry Godwin, of the Memphis Police Dept. "This plan will work, and I'll tell you this: if it doesn't work then we'll change it. We're not going to do something just to be doing it."

And they're not doing it alone. Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and the U.S. Attorney's Office both pledged support. In fact, D.A. Bill Gibbons designated five Assistant District Attorneys to be "on call" 24-7 for Blue Crush investigators.

"We're going to do everything we can to support this. Our top priority is combating violent crime, that's the directors top priority and we'll handle the case load you don't need to worry about that," said District Attorney Bill Gibbons.

Armed with specific crime statistics from the University of Memphis, Blue Crush officers will now make cleaning up the streets their full-time priority.

Blue Crush doesn't stop with law enforcement. There's also an outreach component that works with neighborhood groups, community agencies and the media.