Highway Patrol says it transferred more resources to Memphis, but did not receive city’s request for soldiers



MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The rise in interstate shootings in Memphis and Shelby County has caught the attention of state and local leaders.

The governor, the mayor and police leaders have all spoken out on what needs to be done to address this growing problem. Our state and local leaders agree that making our highways safer is a top priority for them.

Last year, interstate shootings in Memphis reached record highs. This year those numbers continue to move in the wrong direction, with at least 39 so far.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland told us last week that the support of the Tennessee Highway Patrol would help.

“We want this permanent presence. I think if we can get a permanent presence on the I-40, I-240 loop, I think you’re going to see these interstate shootings decrease, ”Strickland said.

While the Highway Patrol says it has not received a formal request for this presence, it has already transferred more resources to Memphis.

But the city of Memphis disputes this claim. Ursula Madden, Director of Communications, issued the following statement.

“Over the past five years, the mayor and chief of police have repeatedly called on the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), the governor’s office, and state lawmakers to keep the highways safe. by the state in Memphis and Shelby County.

Even without these attempts, THP shouldn’t need a formal request to handle what is already part of its responsibility.

Ursula Madden, Director of Communications

Last November, the THP created a task force in response to the increase in shootings and fatalities in our region.

“Every week we now have soldiers who are only dedicated to some sort of 240/40 loop to perform a high volume of traffic stops and be seen and visible,” said Col. Matt Perry, of the Highway Patrol. Tennessee.

The soldiers say that when they started partnering with law enforcement here five years ago they would saturate the highways only a few weeks at a time, but since December they have been here full time.

“We just threw in a few more resources every week. So we started bringing in 6 to 12 soldiers depending on availability, ”Perry said.

These soldiers come from the 53 who serve this region made up of 10 counties. The idea is to deter criminal activity, protect yourself, and help local law enforcement try to do the same.

“No single agency can solve all of the problems we all have in our jurisdiction,” said Perry.

A spokesperson for the highway patrol said there was no end date for the increased presence here.
They ask you to call the THP star if you see any traffic incidents that are not life threatening.


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