MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The numbers are in after the first week of enforcement of THP’s Operation Grizzly Bear on Memphis highways.
Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Highway Patrol sent reinforcements to the Bluff City, 30 troopers from around the state, to help Memphis Police and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies curb the rash of interstate shootings.
After one week of providing extra patrols on Interstate 240 and Highway 385, THP says troopers issued 64 citations for failure to wear a seat belt, 38 citations for driving without proper insurance or registration and 20 tickets for speeding.
THP was called in to join MPD and SCSO after more than 30 interstate shootings took place in Memphis since January 1st. Troopers have noticed the uptick in aggressive driving behavior.
"Now we're seeing," said Captain Jimmie Johnson, "it seems like daily we're having something with interstate violence."
Memphis Police are definitely more visible on I-240 and 385, with squad cars posted at nearly every exit, emergency lights flashing, reminding drivers that MPD is watching.
And most Memphis area motorists say they're thrilled to see the increased police presence.
"Good," tweeted Stevie Ray, "TCB."
“Thank goodness,” tweeted Chrissygirl4you.
"Awesome," tweeted Keith Billingsley, "maybe they can cut down on the aggressive driving. It's ridiculous out there."
"So thankful for our men and women in uniform," Karla Feeney posted to social media.
No interstate shootings have been reported in the week since Operation Grizzly Bear started.
THP says the operation is expected to last another five weeks.