Extra patrols on Memphis’ highways for the next 6 weeks


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – If you were out driving in Memphis Friday, you likely noticed an increase of law enforcement on the highways.

Earlier this week, the Tennessee Highway Patrol announced a multi-agency operation to crack down on aggressive drivers. This comes after more than 30 highway shootings were reported since January.

Troopers from THP, Shelby County deputies and MPD officers are targeting aggressive drivers, speeders or anything suspicious.

“Just this morning on my way to work, I saw at least 5 people pulled over on the side of the interstate. Made me a little bit nervous, made me watch my speed,” said Mary Elizabeth Butts, who lives on Mud Island.

It’s part of Operation Grizzly Bear. For the next 6 weeks, 30 troopers will join Memphis Police and Shelby County deputies on the highways to reduce the number of highway shootings. There have been 32 so far this year in Memphis.

“I think it’s a great idea and I’ve noticed it because I live in Midtown, but I work in Collierville, so I take the highway to and from. And I’ve noticed and increase in police, so again, if it’s for our safety, I think it’s a great thing,” said Gary Thompson.

During our assignment Friday, we spotted a number of traffic stops. There were also officers on I-40, 385, and near the 240/55 interchange.  

Not all Memphis residents think the extra patrols are needed.

“I didn’t feel any safer than what I felt last week or two weeks ago, you know. I feel like everybody is on edge because of it,” said Memphis resident, Wyatt Krag.  

Drivers can expect to see more officers on the roads for at least the next 6 weeks, at which time they will evaluate if the extra troopers are still needed.

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