West Memphis crime rate drops, mayor credits community policing

West Memphis crime rate drops, mayor credits community policing
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) - Crime rates are down in West Memphis and Mayor Marco McClendon hopes the recent approval of body cameras for police officers will help keep the trend going.

McClendon says crime rates in West Memphis are trending in the right direction.

Most major crimes, including murder, aggravated assault and domestic violence are down double-digits thus far in 2021 according to West Memphis Police.

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Mayor McClendon credits a focus on community policing.

“I think having police officers more working the community and working with the community,” said McClendon. “Because a lot of times we get tips on things that are about to happen and we are able to intervene.”

According to West Memphis Police, breaking and entering is down 52 percent and robbery reports have declined 41 percent.

It wasn’t long ago this was not the case in West Memphis.

In April 2019, newly elected McClendon issued a curfew after four murders, one involving a 16-year-old boy.

“What our police department is doing and what the citizens within our community are doing, we are working together and becoming one West Memphis and we’re working together to combat crime,” said McClendon.

McClendon says while recent statistics are encouraging, he knows what’s happened in the past and plans to continue battling against violent crime.

“The job is never over,” he said. “With the climate, police-community relationship we got going on we got to make sure that we build a stronger bond, that’s why I’m so thankful that our council approved the body cameras for our police officers.”

According to the West Memphis Mayor’s Office, the police department is in the process of finalizing the details of a contract to buy the new body cameras. The city hopes to implement the new cameras sometime this year.

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