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Crime prevention advocate says MPD's SCORPION Unit can help cutting down violent crime

MPD's SCORPION Unit will target high crime hot spots.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —
The Memphis Police Department's SCORPION Unit is working to stop violent crimes like homicides, carjackings, and assaults in high crime hot spots. 

MPD would not say which neighborhoods the crime hot spots it's targeting are in, but it's basing it off of areas with frequent 911 calls on a daily basis. 

Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives founder Stevie Moore knows how this violence impacts families.

"I lost my son 19 years ago watching him laying on the ground with his head blown off," Moore said. "Since then I’ve been to 2-year-old funerals, 4-year-old, 6-year-old, 10-year-old, like little babies in a casket, so how can we say this might not work?"

Moore said any effort to fight crime is better than nothing. 

"Every time somebody comes up with an idea let’s run with it," Moore said. "Let’s see, will it work."

The SCORPION Unit will have 50 officers designated to various high crime areas. The auto theft task force will focus on preventing cars from being stolen, while the gang component will try to stop retaliation during police investigations. 

The crime suppression team will be out every day to work on building relationships with neighbors, which Moore said is important in getting people to come forward. 

"The community as a whole is not frustrated with crime in our community," Moore said.

In its first few days, the unit has taken more than 29 guns off the street, made more than 30 arrests, and ceased nearly 170 grams of marijuana. 

"It’s important to us that each member of the community feels like they can go to the grocery store or live in their house without their house being shot or shootings frequently occurring on the streets and on the roadways," MPD Assistant Chief Shawn Jones said.

MPD hopes this will decrease violent crime by 5%. 

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