Operation Grizzly Bear results in over 2,000 citations on Memphis interstates

Operation Grizzly Bear results in 2,016 citations on Memphis interstates

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A weeks-long operation to combat violence on Memphis interstates has ended.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol launched Operation Grizzly Bear over the summer -- after more than 30 interstate shootings since January.

More than 30 state troopers from across Tennessee were brought to Memphis to help execute Operation Grizzly Bear.

During that time -- more than 2,000 citations were issued by THP.

Operation Grizzly Bear started in 2016. Its purpose was to reduce traffic-related deaths in Shelby County.

"Every now and then we bring the phases back when something drastic happens,” said Lt. William Futrell, THP.

In July, THP brought Operation Grizzly Bear back to the Memphis area after more than 30 interstate shootings.

The City of Memphis and Memphis Police requested THP's assistance on the interstate systems -- that wrapped up in late August.

"During that time there was only one shooting that was reported during that operation so it was very successful,” said Futrell.

Data shows, during Operation Grizzly Bear, troopers issued a total of 2,016 citations -- 263 for speeding, 22 for improper passing, a total of 83 arrests were made.

"It makes me feel safe because all this stuff going on... I don’t like to get out too much,” said Arthur Gilmore, Memphis driver.

Futrell says even though THP's operation has wrapped up, Memphis Police will still be on the interstates.

Since the start of the year, Memphis Police have made 82,179 stops, issued 54,911 citations and made 1,833 arrests on interstates.

"When you see a law enforcement officer out there on the road you kind of change your behavior until you get to your destination so just being out there makes a difference,” said Futrell.

THP says it's tough to identify a specific reason why interstate shootings were happening, but they believe incidents may be linked to road rage.

Law enforcement says take your time, don’t engage with people who seem upset or angry on the road and if you need to -- call police.

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