The Memphis Police Department is the law enforcement agency of the City of Memphis, Tennessee.
Provides services that enable the other programs to effectively respond to service calls. It provides security services; warrant, subpoena and property processing; radio and telephone communications; inspection of police services; and management of information and human resources. Additional functions include the reporting and recording of crimes and incidents and personnel development.
- Domestic Violence Bureau (DV) - Handles all assault related incidents involving domestic violence, including Burglary DV.
- D.V.P.O.T (Domestic Violence Protection Order Team)
- Investigates violations of orders of protection, prepare warrants for the arrest of offenders, and coordinate with Pre-trial Services, Shelby County Sheriff’s Officer, and the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office.
- D.A.R.T. (Domestic Assault Response Team)
- A pilot program, was implemented to reduce the number of domestic assaults by conducting investigative follow-up to simple (non-felony) DV assault cases.
- Felony Assault Unit
- (formed in August of 2005 to aggressively investigate aggravated assaults in the same manner as homicides) handles aggravated assaults except for those domestic in nature and kidnapping/abductions which are not for ransom or custodial in nature.
- Homicide Bureau - Handles all deaths (homicides, suicides, natural, accidental) regardless of the nature and kidnapping/abductions for ransom.
- Missing Persons Bureau - Handles all investigations involving the disappearance of all adults and juveniles, including runaways, occurring within the jurisdiction of the Memphis Police Department.
- Robbery Bureau - Handles all individual robberies (including delivery drivers), purse snatches and extortion/blackmail.
- Safe Streets Task Force handles all business robberies (including banks) and carjackings. This unit is directly responsible for the lowering of the crime rates in bank robberies, business robberies, and carjackings.
- Sex Crimes/Juvenile Abuse Bureau - Handles all sex related offenses, all types of child abuse and neglect, custodial interference, stalking, exhibitionists and peeping toms. It is one bureau with two separate locations and operates different hours.
- Sex Crimes
- (located at 201 Poplar Avenue – Suite 1123, 901.545.5330; investigators work 8am -4pm, 7 days a week, with rotating days off) investigates adult cases, both male and female that are 13 years old and older, where the perpetrator is not a parent, guardian, and/or in custodial care of the victim.
- Sex Offender Registry
- Sex Crimes is responsible for entering data on sexual offenders in the Sex Offender Registry (S.O.R.) and for verification, identification, and enforcement.
- Juvenile Abuse
- Investigates complaints involving victims 13 years to 17 years old, and when the perpetrator is a parent, guardian, and/or in custodial care of the victim.
- Crimes Against Property Bureau - Handles burglary, vehicle theft, larceny and incidents where property theft is the principal crime involved.
- Burglary Bureau
- Handles all residential, business, and non-residential burglaries. Burglary monitors all Pawn Shops, Junk, and Scrap Metal Dealers in the city.
- Economic Crimes Bureau
- Handles individuals and groups engaged and participating in criminal conduct involving forgery, check fraud, use of access devices (checks, credit and debit cards), counterfeiting access devices (checks, credit and debit cards, skimming and re-encoding), counterfeit audio cassette tapes, video tapes, CDs and DVDs, counterfeit clothing and trademarks, embezzlement, impersonation, elder financial crimes, identity theft, computer and internet crimes, insurance and estate frauds.
- General Assignment Bureau
- Handles simple assault offenses (except those classified as domestic violence or child abuse), accidental injuries, animal injuries, bribery, escapees, intimation, pocket-pickings, shopliftings, suspicious persons, theft from coin operated machines/devices, threatening/obscene/harassing phone calls, vandalisms, weapon law violations, and stolen property offenses for which the property reported stolen in the original report was assigned to General Assignment.
- Vehicle Theft Bureau
- Handles thefts of any vehicle whose primary purpose is to transport people and thefts of property from any motorized vehicle licensed for use on roadways. Vehicle Theft also handles the theft of motorized construction /farm equipment capable of propulsion by land and the theft of watercraft.
- Support Units
- Felony Response
- Handles preliminary investigations of all types of crime classifications (murder, aggravated assault, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, larceny, fraud, motor vehicle theft, etc.) between 4pm and 8am.
- Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)
- A 24 hour/7 days a week citywide operation. CSI processes and secures evidence at the scene of major crimes. The officers collect and preserve physical evidence and record each scene with the use of photographs, crime scene sketches, charts, maps, evidence inventories, and detailed descriptive reports. CSI is staffed by commissioned police officers, latent fingerprint technicians, and latent print examiners, all of whom are equally important in carrying out the responsibilities of the unit.
- Air Support - The Air Support Division is often utilized by other MPD squads and outside agencies in various types of operations. Helicopters flown by Air Support include three Bell Jet Ranger helicopters and a Eurocopter A-Star helicopter.
- Harbor Patrol - This unit is responsible for the safety and enforcement of marine activities along the Mississippi River. The Harbor Patrol currently has a 25 ft. Boston Whaler, 17 ft. Monarch, a Seadoo and a 10 ft. Basshound Buddy Boat.
- K9 Unit - This unit utilizes highly trained dogs who, along with their handlers, make-up a unique team responsible for building searches and suspect searches, as well as narcotic and explosive detection.
- Tact Unit (SWAT) - This unit, specially trained to respond to various emergency situations, is responsible for handling barricade situations, hostage rescues, counter terrorism, and high risk felony apprehensions.
- Mounted Patrol - Mounted Patrol performs a dual function within the department - providing assistance with crowd control or traffic control and providing positive community relations.
- Metro Gang Unit - The Street Crime Abatement Team (SCAT) combined in the fall of 2000 with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department to form the Metro Gang Unit. The main focus of this new unit was criminal gang activity in the Shelby County area.
- Officers in the Schools - The Officers in the Schools (OIS) Program assigns officers to 29 High Schools and 29 Middle and/or Jr. High Schools. The selections of schools are decided with a team of MPD and MCS administrators. The 44 officers assigned to the Memphis City Schools serve as mentors, leaders, as well as volunteer their time for civic groups, scouting troops, and various youth sports leagues.
- Organized Crime Unit - The Organized Crime Unit is a multi-faceted self-sufficient organization that serves the citizens of Memphis by actively participating in multi-jurisdictional task forces to coordinate the attack on illegal drug trafficking operations at the local, state, and federal level. The focus has shifted toward major drug investigations, vice enforcement, and the investigation of public complaints of drug activity.
- Reserve Bureau - The Reserve Bureau is staffed by men and women who augment the current complement of MPD officers on a daily basis. Reserve Officers are required to work a minimum of 24 hours each month for a salary of $1.00 per year. The financial, as well as service benefits provided by these Reserve Officers to the Memphis Police Department and the City of Memphis are substantial.
- Tillman Station (Central Precinct)
- South Main Station (Downtown Precinct)
- Appling Farms Station (Northeast Precinct)
- Union Station (West Precinct)
- Mt. Moriah Station (East Precinct)
- Old Allen Station (North Precinct)
- Raines Station (South Precinct)
- Airways Station (Southeast Precinct)
- Ridgeway Station
The following are historical moments within the Memphis Police Department.
- 1827 - The Memphis Police Department, was founded
- 1878 - the 55 man police department was devastated by the Yellow Fever epidemic when all 55 officers were stricken, with 10 officers dying as a result
- 1932 - Memphis became internationally known as the "Murder Capital of the Year" when 102 people were killed
- 1933 - more international attention came when George "Machine Gun" Kelly was captured by MPD officers Thomas Waterson and Sergeant William Raney
- 1948 - First African American officers hired.
- 1968 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, sparking riots and curfews across the city
- 1973 - The department witnessed the formation of two police unions- The Afro-American Police Association was formed and the Memphis Police Association, a bargaining unit representing patrolmen and sergeants, was formed
- 1978 - The Police Department went on an 8-day strike in a labor dispute with City Leaders
- 1988 - James Ivy became the City's first African American police director
- 1992 - Eddie B. Adair was named first African American Chief of Police
"Our purpose is to create and maintain public safety in the City of Memphis. We do so with focused attention on preventing and reducing crime, enforcing the law, and apprehending criminals."
"To create and maintain for the City of Memphis an environment of public safety recognized for its compassion and responsiveness to the needs, rights and expectations of all citizens, employees and visitors."
The following is the breakdown of the rank and file of the MPD.
Distribution by race
- African American/Black: 52%
- White: 47%
- Hispanic: 1%
Distribution by gender
The Investigative Services bureau is often featured in the A&E
reality television series The First 48