MEMPHIS, TN - Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin takes his department's crime fighting strategies global. He just returned from Israel, where he was invited to talk about his Blue Crush initiative with law enforcement heads from around the world. ABC24 News sat down with the Director to talk about the trip.
“It was just really exciting,” said Dir. Godwin of the trip. “I was able to talk about Blue Crush.”
Blue Crush is a crime fighting initiative that involves everything from drug roundups, to sophisticated crime mapping, to real time surveillance and security cameras. It's getting attention around the world from London to Hong Kong, and, now, the Middle East.
“I served on a panel with several chiefs from around the country, around the world,” said Dir. Godwin.
Director Godwin was a featured speaker at the Israel Homeland Security International Conference.
“It felt good to talk about Memphis and to be over there in Israel talking about Memphis and to have people come up and ask you, have you got a card, where are you from, I heard your presentation, where are you from?” said Godwin.
He says law enforcement leaders from other countries are more focused on terrorism.
“We have our own terrorism on the streets, and that's our everyday burglaries, robberies and things that our citizens expect us to handle,” said Dir. Godwin. “But we also have another big picture of terrorism, when you see our port security and the cameras and the things we do, so I think it's a mix.”
Despite their differences, he said they all have the same goal.
On a lighter note, this Italian American got a shout-out from his family's homeland.
“The Chief from Milano, Italy presented me with his crest, his seal from Italy,” said the Director.
Now it's back to combating crime here at home.
“We're going to try to incorporate some things here,” said Dir. Godwin. “We're doing a lot of it, but there's still some other things we can do, technology-wise. I picked up some very good information.”
The MPD says Director Godwin's trip was sponsored and paid for by the Memphis Jewish Federation. He says he'll be making a presentation to the group about the trip.