Operation Blue Crush - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Operation Blue Crush

Operation Blue Crush crashed down doors looking for gangs, guns, drugs and anything else they could find last April.

Using crime stats to target their efforts, M-P-D officers saturated seven specific Memphis neighborhoods.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin says, "We've had over 30 warrant arrests, 68 drug arrests, 84 felony arrests, we have a total of 315 arrests and we're not done yet."

By the time the five day operation ended, M-P-D rounded up 488 suspected criminals.

Friday afternoon, the Department gave me the names of those suspects.

From that list, Action News Five had a computer randomly select 15-percent of the names... a large enough sample to get an accurate picture of the types of offenders this Blue Crush operation brought in. Action News Five then tracked those cases through the court system to see how offenders were charged and where they ended up.

When Action News used this method to break down the last two Blue Crush operations in August and October of last year, we found the majority of felony cases do get prosecuted, however, most of those brought in on lesser charges were back out on the streets within days.

U of M criminologist Richard Janikowski says the ultimate test of Blue Crush's effectiveness won't be based on the number of cases prosecuted.

Janikowski says, "The ultimate test is will the strategy reduce serious crime."

It's a test M-P-D's top brass expects Blue Crush to pass with flying colors.

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