What do we do about the Memphis freeway shootings
There were 70 freeway and highway shootings in Memphis during the first half of 2021.
MEMPHIS, Tennessee – On Tuesday night, another freeway shootout took place in Memphis. This time it happened on Interstate 40 just west of Sycamore View. The victim, who was uncomfortable sharing her experience on camera, told police that an unknown suspect in a white BMW SUV rolled down the front passenger window and fired two shots at her car. The driver’s side window was smashed.
Memphis Police said on Wednesday they would like to team up with other law enforcement agencies with a massive presence to quell the shooting. It has worked in the past, but MPD Deputy Police Chief Don Crowe said it was a question of resources.
“Tennessee Highway Patrol, I think we wish they would help us more in what they do, but I think they donate resources when they can,” Crowe said.
Crowe said that as a large city, Memphis needs more of the 53 state troops assigned to western Tennessee, despite the agency’s latest operation to meet that need.
“The Tennessee Highway Patrol has an operation in place right now,” Crowe said. “It’s ‘Operation Guardian Angel’ and they’re patrolling the Memphis area, but again, we’d like to see that increase a bit more.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s office blames a national shortage of troops as the reason it didn’t send more to Memphis. His office finally offered some hope.
“It was a top priority during the recent legislative session, which is why the state’s FY21-22 budget included additional funding for improved training, salary increases and a new class of 22 State Troopers and 20 new TBI field officers, ”Lee’s office said in a statement. “Some of this new class of soldiers will be posted to Shelby County once their training is complete.”
When Local 24 News asked how many of this new class would be assigned to Memphis, Lee’s office did not have a specific number.