Governor Bill Lee has assigned an additional 40 Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers to Memphis
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in a news release Monday morning that he is assigning 40 additional Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers to Memphis and Shelby County.
An announcement came to me days later State Sen. Brent Taylor, a Republican from Memphis, sent a letter to the governor requesting additional troops After a weekend of high-profile and viral crimes that included… A researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was shot and killed.
“As crime rates continue to rise in America, Tennessee is implementing proven crime prevention methods to keep our communities safe,” Lee said in the statement. “I commend our THP forces for stepping up to bolster their law enforcement presence in Shelby County and help deter criminal activity in the area.”
The Memphis Police Department previously said the THP program supplementing highway traffic enforcement allows officers to respond to calls about break-ins and shootings faster and has been welcomed by the department.
The additional forces will focus on traffic enforcement and will be in Memphis on Monday. An additional 15 to 20 soldiers from other areas will join this “surge” starting Nov. 27, and will remain in Shelby County “for the foreseeable future,” Lee said.
in In a presentation to the Memphis City Council in August, THP troopers said that, since January, they had conducted 17,260 traffic stops It issued 7,499 citations. There were 10,830 warnings, 12 felony arrests, and 228 misdemeanor arrests by THP forces in the same time period.
Taylor’s letter also called for the formation of a “monitoring team” to publicize arrests and track prosecutions. Lee’s statement on Monday did not mention the status of that team, but said local officials should “hold the criminals accountable.”
“…local officials must fulfill their responsibility to uphold the law and hold criminals accountable without resorting to mitigating plea deals that have disastrous consequences and often lead to more crimes and more victims,” Lee said.
In late September, the Commercial Appeal reported that quarterly data from the Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commission, which tracks and publishes crime data provided by MPD to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, She noted that Memphis could have the highest crime rate since that data was first collected and published by the FBI in 1995..
Analysis of those reports, both from the FBI and the TBI, indicated that Memphis police were clearing fewer cases, even with cases qualifying for clearance when only one person was arrested and charged with that crime. No person need be convicted, according to the FBI and TBI’s definitions of clearance, and not all people associated with a crime need be arrested.
The city of Memphis and MPD fell back on the number of warrants submitted by the TBI and FBI, although both reports came from data provided by MPD to each office.
Lucas Fenton is the criminal justice reporter for The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached at Lucas.Finton@commercialappeal.com and followed on Twitter @LucasFinton.
This article originally appeared on the Memphis Business Appeal: The governor is assigning additional troopers to the Tennessee Highway Patrol on Memphis roads