The Office of Crime Prevention falls under the auspice of Special Operations for the Memphis Police Department. Crime Prevention was re-implemented in May 2011 to create, organize, coordinate and manage all community-oriented and community outreach initiatives affiliated with the Memphis Police Department.
Crime Prevention Mission Statement
To strengthen, empower, and cultivate proactive partnerships within the community utilizing innovative crime prevention techniques and educational programs.
Crime Prevention Vision
We vision a solid level of trust, confidence, and mutual respect with the community as we together develop positive alternatives and solutions to improve the quality of life for all Citizens of Memphis.
The following information is a brief outline of current and future programs that the Memphis Police Department has established and mandated through various outreach initiatives.
Here is a brief
overview of some of our Community Policing Programs:
Community Outreach Program (C.O.P.)
The Community Outreach Program (C.O.P.) initiative developed through the restructuring of the Co-Acts to better serve the community relative to community policing and the reduction of juvenile violence. Its redevelopment began in 2011 and became active March 10, 2012. The unit consists of approximately 60 officers and six (6) supervisors who are provided target areas from data gathered with the assistance of the University of Memphis. These officers address the problems in the target areas through a three prong approach: identification, enforcement and education.
The National Neighborhood Watch program is one of the oldest and most well-known crime prevention concepts in history that stresses community awareness and teamwork. Neighborhood Watch in Memphis was officially formulated in 1984. It is an organization which empowers local citizens to take back and maintain a better quality of life in their respective neighborhoods. This program has shown that citizens help in the reduction of local crime by being vigilant and by partnering with local law enforcement to address the crime related issues and economical challenges within their community.
National Night Out
National Night Out and ‘Memphis’s Night Out Against Crime,’ are community events designed to increase citizens’ awareness regarding police programs in the communities; identify resources available for needy families (such as Neighborhood Watch and other anti-crime efforts like “Feed the Need” and various camps for children that are free). The Command Staff and Crime Prevention officers attend as many meeting as possible during this city wide one day event to advise citizens on the need for crime prevention and the importance of communities watching out for crime, criminal behavior, and quality of life issues in their respective neighborhoods.
Black History Knowledge Bowl
The Black History Knowledge Bowl was established to build positive, interpersonal relationships between Officers and youth 14 to 18 years old. It also fosters effective communication between the youth and police officers, develops good competitive spirit, and stimulates the participants’ minds by challenging them to excel in the classroom, while becoming a positive role model in their community. All Crime Prevention Officers, city wide, will participate in the annual Black History Knowledge Bowl competitions in February of each year. A wide range of students from Middle/High Schools throughout the inner City of Memphis will register and compete in this historic event.
The Hoops Challenge was established in 2011 to build a positive, inter-personal Police/Student relationship to help foster more effective communication. The basketball games stimulate interactions between members of the Memphis Police Department, students and school faculty to provide an opportunity to address the challenges encountered within their schools.
“Real Talk” is a program that formed as a result of the Hoops Challenge. align="justify" ; It is a direct, honest, professional line of communication between the Memphis Police Crime Prevention Unit, high school students and staff. All subject matters, pamphlets, brochures and literature will be pre-approved by the Memphis City School Administration and the Crime Prevention Commander prior to presentations.
The Clergy Police Academy is an educational awareness program that was designed as a result of Director Armstrong meeting with area ministers in 2011 to support and strengthen collaborative partnerships between the faith-based community and law enforcement. The CLPA is a five week, 10-hour curriculum that consists of classroom instruction and group discussion to emphasize some of the most common law enforcement and crime related issues that may impact clergy and their congregations.
School Supply Drive
All Crime Prevention Officers will participate in a “Back to School” Supply Drive within the various police station areas. Our goal is to supply children with start up school supplies. We understand the economic situation, especially for single parent homes. We know that by providing the necessary school supplies to some of the children in the community, the stress for fixed income households will decrease and allow those children the opportunity to have a good start towards their school year.
Thanksgiving and Christmas Basket Giveaways
Crime Prevention will sponsor a Thanksgiving and Christmas Basket Giveaway each year. Annually in November and December, MPD Crime Prevention Officers partner with neighboring companies to purchase, prepare, and deliver food baskets to families in need. Our goal is to supply even more seniors, single parent homes, and needy families with food for the holidays.
Christmas Toys Giveaway
Crime Prevention will sponsor a Christmas Gift Giveaway each year. Annually in December, MPD Crime Prevention Officers partner with neighboring companies to purchase, and deliver toys and clothes to families in need. Our goal is to supply even more seniors, single parent homes, and needy families with gifts for the holidays.
Citizen's Police Academy
The purpose of the Citizens Police Academy is to provide the citizens of Memphis with a better understanding of police functions, how policies are developed, the decision making process, and what an officer experiences on a day-to-day basis. The academy is held one day a week, 9 week course for three hours a week. The academy classes are held at each Memphis Police Department station.
Participants are eligible to participate in a ride-a-long with a police officer, before or after the completion of the CPA program. This will give the citizens a better knowledge of what a Police Officers 8 hours tour of duty encompasses. The classes also provide the citizens with prevention awareness practices and comprehension strategies about ways to avoid becoming victimized.
The CPA also provides the citizens with the correct steps to file a report or inquire about personal property. Upon completion of the CPA, the graduates will serve as a liaison between the department and the community to report suspicious and criminal activity. The liaison will also help the department to identify economically challenged families who are living in unsafe conditions, need assistance with services such as food, clothes, and shelter. The responding officers will assist the families and provide them with the resources that can improve their quality of life.
Office of Drug Education houses the Drug Abuse Resistance Education
(D.A.R.E.) and Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.)
Units. These units consist of specially trained officers who teach
school aged children to resist the temptations of taking drugs and
History of the MPD's DARE/GREAT Program
In the fall of 1994, the Memphis Police Department became a
participant in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)
program. D.A.R.E., which originated in Los Angeles in 1983, provides
a core curriculum of 17 hour-long weekly lessons taught to fifth and
sixth graders to strengthen their substance abuse prevention skills.
We began the program by first training and certifying eight of our
officers to teach it. Their training consisted of an 80 hour two
week session provided at our academy by the Tennessee Highway
Patrol, which manages the D.A.R.E. program statewide. After training
and certification, the eight officers taught the program in nine
Memphis City Schools for the first time in the fall of 1994. Over
800 students completed the program that term and received
certificates acknowledging their accomplishment.
In the spring of 1995, four of those officers provided D.A.R.E.
instruction in nine schools to over 700 students who graduated on
May 30, 1995. In the fall, nine officers provided instruction in
eleven schools to over 900 students who graduated during the week of
December 11-15, 1995. The program will grow again in the 1996 spring
semester, as instruction takes place in twenty-two city schools.
Later in the year, additional officers will be trained to teach
The Memphis Police Department has also undertaken instruction in
Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (G.R.E.A.T.). The
G.R.E.A.T. program, which originated in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1991,
provides a core curriculum of nine hour-long weekly sessions taught
to seventh graders to strengthen their skills for coping with the
constant pressures associated with street gangs. Under guidelines
set up by the G.R.E.A.T. grant all officers will remain in their
assigned schools for the full school year. This is also a valuable
tool for creating positive rapport with the students within the
We began the G.R.E.A.T. program in Memphis in 1995 by initially
certifying four officers to teach it. Later, four more officers were
certified by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), which
manages the program nationwide. In the spring of 1995, six officers
taught the program in seven schools to over 1700 students. In the
1995 fall semester,
seven officers taught it in eight schools to over 1750 students.
During the summer of 1995 six weeklong G.R.E.A.T camps were held for
boys and girls.
The G.R.E.A.T. program expanded in the 1996 spring semester, as
instruction took place in fourteen city schools, and as additional
officers were trained to teach it.
Juvenile Court Building
Commission on Missing and Exploited Children
(COMEC) is located in the Juvenile Court building at 616 Adams. This
unit is responsible for monitoring the exploitation of children, as
well as, tracking the whereabouts of missing children. The Unit also
offers programs on child safety and sponsors the Child
Fingerprinting/Photo ID Booth at the Mid-South Fair.
Len Edwards and Sgt. Vonyale Montgomery coordinate the COMEC Program.
They can be reached at