MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A string of crimes in Lakeland, Tennessee, has both law enforcement and community members on alert. Since December, officials have gotten several calls from residents.
Though typically peaceful, crime has Lakeland bustling.
“No community is immune from crime of various degrees,” said Anthony Buckner, Shelby County Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief Deputy Patrol Services.
Recently, Lakeland has seen a rash of vehicle thefts, a carjacking, and a homicide.
“No, we haven’t seen an uptick in crime in the Lakeland area,” said Buckner. “What occurred over the weekend is what we call a 'spike.'”
Buckner said deputies have been working with residents to help solve these crimes with a big help from home surveillance videos. “We understand that after the ultimate crime occurs which is homicide, which is murder, it makes people feel a little uneasy. It makes us feel uneasy,” said Buckner.
Their solution is to increase presence. “We’re responding to with some additional patrols, some video surveillance, and some other tools we’re using to try to detect or prevent crime from occurring,” said Buckner.
Each week, deputies sit down as a team to review each crime that occurs in their jurisdiction. “We evaluate what occurred, and we have discussions to determine methods and ways we can prevent crimes from occurring,” said Buckner.
Residents in the Windward Slopes neighborhood did not want to talk on camera, but they did say they have met since the homicide over the weekend to talk about solutions they can take as a community to deter crime.
“You don’t have to come to this community and say things like, ‘If you see something, say something.’ When they see crime, when they see suspicious activity, they don’t hesitate to contact us,” said Buckner. “One of the things that we want to do is make sure that we’re preventing any crime from occurring, and also restoring a sense of comfort and safety to the members of this community.”
It is an effort to restore peace.
According to SCSO, Lakeland saw a total of 34 different incidents in the month of December.