Blue Crush changes the way police do business

You've seen Blue Crush arrests on Action News 5 all summer, but you haven't seen how Blue Crush is changing what police do behind the scenes. Tuesday, Deputy Chief D.A. Betts briefed detectives about changing how the Memphis Police Department does business.

"We're teaching our officers that we have to think outside the box," Betts said, "that the way we've done things traditionally the past few decades just simply doesn't work anymore."
The bottom line is, "we are responsible for crime in the City of Memphis," he said.
Charts help police target what they call "crime hotspots."    As part of Blue Crush, police want to spend more time in those hotspots.

For instance, if an officer handles a call at Union and McClean, normally that officer would sit in his squad car for 15 minutes while he writes his police report at that location.  Under Blue Crush, it is suggested an officer drive straight to a crime hot spot, park in a prominent location, and write his report there."

Criminologist Richard Janikowski of the University of Memphis is part of the re-training. "The mere presence of a police officer for 15 minutes or more in a particular area has a measurable reduction on crime," he said.
According to Janikowski, Blue Crush is about using the latest crime data to put the right resources in the right time and place.  "Police can make a huge difference in reducing crime," he said.

Department officials said in the coming weeks, officers will being expanding their presence in crime hotspots.