MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - More than 5,300 home burglaries in Memphis so far this year are leaving residents demanding change. They want the police focus to turn back to keeping property safe. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton says he will ask for a realignment of the police department.
With about 25 home burglaries in Memphis each day, residents are asking the City for more protection. TJ Horne's had his home broken into twice, a story all too common in Memphis. "You feel pretty violated," he says, "You work hard to pay your bills and get what you have, then someone comes along and takes it."
After the break-ins, Horne moved his family to a quiet Midtown Memphis neighborhood with an active neighborhood watch. "A lot of emails go out whenever something does happen," Horne says.
Wharton says, "If someone is breaking in to your residence, that is a number one priority for me."
Even one break-in is too many for Mayor Wharton, he says the City's numbers are unacceptable, "We're going to have to look at realigning our resources, making sure police officers are doing those things where they're really needed."
Wharton says a recent review of the police department showed too much time was spent on stray dogs, fender benders and responding to false alarms. "We're going to be tightening up with those areas." Wharton says, "I'll go back to the council and see if we can realign resources to get the police out of chasing the stray dogs and things like that. Also see if we can enhance the fines for all these false alarms." He intends to put police back in neighborhoods and keep thieves away from your property.
The Mayor doesn't have a time table on addressing the Council but says it's a priority and will happen soon.