MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Fed up with a string of violent crimes in recent weeks, the Cooper-Young business community is banding together and paying for SkyCop security cameras out of their own pockets.
Seven such cameras are expected to go up within the month, giving Memphis Police another crime fighting tool and providing Cooper-Young businesses with more peace of mind.
The cameras will be set up at Cooper and Young and other well-traveled Cooper-Young intersections.
Meanwhile, business leaders who’ve lived in Cooper-Young for years question if more blinking lights on these blocks will actually deter crime.
“We want it to be over. We want people to be safe here,” Cooper-Young Business Association Executive Director Tamara Cook said.
Cook fought tears, as she laid out Wednesday why setting up SkyCop cameras in the coming weeks is so important.
“It’s just an added protection that we feel like we need,” Cook said. “Human life is just so precious.”
The reality of violent crime is a major focus in recent weeks for many who work and live in the neighborhood. Last month, two women in separate areas of Cooper-Young were attacked and one was briefly kidnapped.
“I was drop kicked, dragged by my hair at gunpoint to my car,” one of those Cooper-Young crime victims told Local 24 News.
“That was the final straw that broke the back,” Cook said.
But others who live in Cooper-Young were skeptical whether more SkyCop surveillance will lead to safer streets.
“I don’t necessarily think the cameras are going to protect anybody, I think it could be a false sense of security,” Patrick Durkin said.
Durkin moved to Cooper-Young 10 years ago and believes more patrols on the ground – not cameras overhead – would be a stronger solution.
“People want to walk to these businesses, they want to be safe, I just think there’s maybe another way to do it,” Durkin said.
In addition to the SkyCop cameras planned for Cooper-Young, the neighborhood is already equipped with about 70 private cameras along side streets.
Some businesses also added additional fencing and lighting as a safety precaution.