Residents pack town hall meeting to discuss public safety

Residents pack town hall meeting to discuss public safety

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Some Memphis residents packed a town hall meeting Thursday to learn more about keeping their neighborhoods safe.

“Well we’ve had a lot of car break-ins in my neighborhood,” said Victoria Beard, who lives in the Fox Meadows community.

Beard was one of several people who came out to Shelby County Commissioners Van Turner and Eddie Jones town hall meeting.

Both commissioners have 25 sky cop cameras designated for their district and wanted input from citizens about where to put them.

“But we always caution the citizens that cameras are not a substitution for strong communities, strong neighborhoods,” said Deputy Chief Dan Crowe, Memphis Police Department.

While sky cop cameras were on the flyer, something else was on the minds of these citizens.

“Well I wanted to see what was going on as far as safety for the neighborhood where the cameras are going to be and feel a little more safe in the neighborhood and I also wanted to find out more as far as the wheel tax,” said Beard.

County commissioners are discussing a current proposal on the table that would raise the existing $50 county wheel tax, paid through car registrations, by $20.

If passed, $50 of the wheel tax would continue to fund education and revenue from the additional $20 would fund MATA.

Commissioners will discuss it further Monday.

“I don't understand the rush to do this in January and it don't take effect until July. Give us an opportunity to look at other options,” said Jones.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris pitched a different option. He wants to charge every household a $145 sustainability fee after their second vehicle registration.

Commissioner Jones told the audience he seriously doubts if the mayor’s plan will come to fruition.

As far as the sky cop cameras are concerned, Commissioner Jones says he wants to give priority to locations where illegal dumping is an issue.

MPD also has a few locations that they have identified as “hot spots” that may need the cameras as well.

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