MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The largest amount of money ever awarded by the Neighborhood Crime Prevention gr ant program, which gives Memphis neighborhoods the opportunity to create crime prevention efforts, was handed out Monday.
The neighborhoods represented Monday night came from all four corners of Memphis, but all shared a common goal: to make their neighborhood and Memphis safer.
Natalie and Sam Benson live in Longview Heights in South Memphis. Longviews Heights' gr ant money will be used to install more surveillance cameras in the area.
"Most of the crime, they are taking advantage of our elders, so we want to do a lot to try and protect our elders," said Sam Benson.
The Bensons report most of the crime in their area are small things like break-ins. The hope is more cameras will deter prowling criminals.
"We are wanting everyone to know, 'hey we are ready.' We're going to put eyes out there. We are going to make people safe where they will come out of their houses to make the community a better community," Natalie Benson said.
Twenty-three different neighborhoods were awarded more than $55,000 in total, the most ever the program, funded by the city's red light camera system, has ever given out since it started in 2014.
"Crime is a community problem. It cannot just be the role of law enforcement [or] government to make our community a safer place," said Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings.
That is a belief Charity Douglas from South City shares too. Once her neighborhood's $2,500 check is cashed, more cameras will be installed around her neighborhood, including one to face her home.
"A lock deters them," Douglas said. "When you see a camera, people are more conscious of what they are doing and so they will think twice about trying to take something."
The awarded projects include: motion sensor detectors, community newsletters, youth crime prevention projects, anti-vandalism neighborhood projects, motion-activated camera projects, reflective deterrent signage, an interactive neighborhood website, community involvement, and several surveillance camera projects.
Organizations could receive up to $2,500 and participants had to attend webinars and training on gr ant guidelines to qualify.
Other gr ant winner include:
- Binghampton Development Corporation Project Safe Community: Motion sensor detectors and community newsletter printing
- Brighter Day Ministries Church: Surveillance cameras and youth crime prevention project
- Club On the Green Neighborhood Association: Surveillance camera project
- East Buntyn Historic Neighborhood Association: Surveillance camera project
- The First Year Foundation, Inc.: Clean neighborhoods project
- French Fort Historic Neighborhood Association: Surveillance cameras in neighborhood entryway
- Forest Lakes Neighborhood Watch Zone 2: Motion activated cameras, reflective deterrent signage, and website
- Glenview Neighborhood Watch Zone 1: Surveillance project
- The Heights Community Development Neighborhood: Neighborhood clean-up in Mitchell Heights, Berclair, Nutbush, Brinkley Heights areas
- Longview Height Community Civic Club: Surveillance camera project
- Memphis Bears, Inc.: Interactive engagement of youth to encourage crime prevention
- Our Grass, Our Roots: Youth reading crime prevention project
- Palmershire Park Community Association: Surveillance camera project and a community newsletter
- Picardy Place Neighborhood Watch: Surveillance camera project
- South Main Recycles: Safe and accessible recycling project
- South City Neighborhood Watch: Surveillance camera project
- Southill-Marty Block Club: Surveillance camera project
- Timberwood Neighborhood Watch Zone 1: Surveillance camera project and neighborhood newsletter
- Valleywood Homeowners Association: Surveillance camera project
- Vollintine-Evergreen Community Association Neighborhood: enhancement project
- The Village of Riveredge Surveillance camera project Waterford Plaza: Security enhancement project
- West Frayser Crime Prevention Team: Surveillance cameras, neighborhood team building activities, and neighborhood clean-up