Crime Near Schools

Goal: Continued year-over-year reductions in crime near schools.

  • What is this?

    This is crime that occurs at a school or within a 1000-foot buffer around it. Our measure includes homicide and manslaughter, sex offenses, robberies (including carjacking), assault (domestic and non-domestic), drug violations, weapons violations, and kidnapping/abduction.

  • Why does it matter?

    Schools help young people realize their potential; they can't accomplish that mission when they're associated with crime or the fear of crime.

  • Who is responsible?

    The Memphis Police Department (MPD) and partner agencies: Shelby County Schools, the Division of Public Works (reducing blight that promotes crime), and the Division of Parks and Neighborhoods (providing safe places and enriching activities).

  • How do we measure performance?

    We track the number of incidents and look for them to decline. We are also interested in the proportion of crime that takes place near schools and will display that on future versions of this dashboard.

What is the state of crime near schools in Memphis?

Crime near schools rises and falls in concert with overall crime in Memphis. In the neighborhood of schools, that has meant a 13% reduction in crime since 2006.

How is the city working to reduce crime near schools?

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The Memphis Police Department (MPD) uses a variety of best-practice policing tools to fight crime near schools and throughout the city, including a proactive, predictive policing initiative called Operation Blue CRUSH. With Blue CRUSH, the MPD uses data about past crimes to identify potential and emerging "hot spots" so that it can deploy officers more effectively in the field and respond more quickly to upticks in incidents. Our Real Time Crime Center collects incident information as it's happening and monitors more than 500 cameras around the city that are placed in known hot spots. By improving the flow of information and getting it quickly into officers' hands via PDAs (personal digital assistants), the Real Time Crime Center enables the MPD to deter more crime, respond faster to crimes that happen, and increase the speed with which they apprehend suspects.

The City of Memphis and MPD also partner with other law enforcement, government and community agencies to deliver a comprehensive youth violence prevention plan through Operation Safe Community. This plan includes enforcement, intervention and prevention strategies that are aimed at reducing risk factors that make young people susceptible to committing or being victims of crime.

Public Works is engaged in removing environmental crime risks for young people by removing problem properties and focusing blight removal efforts to create safe routes to school. See the Blight focus area for more information on the work the City has undertaken to remove problem properties.

Local law enforcement agencies provide school resource officers to Shelby County Schools. School resource officers are sworn law enforcement officers who provide security and crime prevention services in a school setting.

Since 2012, the City of Memphis has also invested in street intervention teams through the Memphis Gun Down ​program, which provides case management of the most at-risk young people and connects them to the services they need. These teams also intervene before crime happens by diffusing tensions in the community. They also take action after a violent crime like a shooting happens, to reduce the chances of retaliation and ultimately the risk that another young person will become a victim of crime.

Memphians have a continuing role in helping to reduce crime through the city's Neighborhood Watch Program. This program has shown that citizens help in the reduction of local crime by being vigilant and partnering with local law enforcement to address the crime related issues and economic challenges within their community. As a complement to Neighborhood Watch, the Memphis Police Department operates the Community Outreach Program (COP) that puts a concentration of police officers in neighborhoods where crime is high in order to keep the peace and build trust between residents and police.

More information

If you feel that the area near your neighborhood school is unsafe, contact the Memphis Police Department at (901) 545-2677 (545-COPS) and notify the school, your neighborhood association or neighborhood watch contacts. If you need information on your neighborhood groups, contact the Office of Community Affairs, (901) 636-6507.

To create a Neighborhood Watch group, call your local Memphis Police Department precinct and speak with the Neighborhood Watch coordinator. The coordinator will take down your information and let you know what needs to be done to organize the neighborhood watch.