Safety in Gathering Places

Goal: Continued reductions in crime year over year.

  • What is this?

    This metric tracks "Group A" offenses that occur in or near popular gathering places in Memphis. Group A offenses include crimes such as assault and motor vehicle theft.

  • Why does it matter?

    Residents and visitors to Memphis have a right to enjoy our city's many entertainment and shopping amenities without fear of becoming a victim of crime.

  • Who is responsible?

    Memphis Police Department, in cooperation with private security firms at local malls and the Beale Street Entertainment District, the Downtown Memphis Commission in the central business district, and Parks staff at the Liberty Bowl.

  • How do we measure performance?

    We track the number of incidents at each place and aim to reduce that number over time.

How is safety in gathering places calculated?

We track all all Group A crimes within 1⁄4 mile radius of the center point of each attraction. The radius helps us get a sense of the safety for those who are walking to the attraction from nearby parking.

What is the state of safety in places where Memphians commonly gather?

Crime has either decreased or been held at low levels in the city's most popular gathering places since 2006. The Liberty Bowl and its surroundings have seen the largest decrease of 77%. Crime in the Downtown Entertainment District has been halved during the same period, and Downtown is now as safe as the city's more popular malls.

How is the city working to reduce the incidence of crime in these places?

The Memphis Police Department (MPD) uses a variety of best-practice policing tools to fight crime in the city, including a proactive, predictive policing initiative called Operation Blue CRUSH. With Blue CRUSH, the MPD uses data about past crimes to identify potential and emerging "hot spots" so that it can deploy officers more effectively in the field and respond more quickly to upticks in incidents. Our Real Time Crime Center collects incident information as it's happening and monitors more than 500 cameras around the city that are placed in known hot spots. By improving the flow of information and getting it quickly into officers' hands via PDAs (personal digital assistants), the Real Time Crime Center enables the MPD to deter more crime, respond faster to crimes that happen, and increase the speed with which they apprehend suspects.

The MPD also collaborates with private security firms at local malls and the Beale Street Entertainment District, the Downtown Memphis Commission in the central business district, and Parks staff at the Liberty Bowl to create public safety plans. In Downtown Memphis specifically, the Memphis Police Department operates an Entertainment District Unit that maintains a significant presence in the neighborhood, including a police substation located in the heart of Beale Street and horse, bike, and UTV mounted patrols. Incidents of crime are evaluated at weekly meetings with leadership, and the MPD adjusts tactics and patrol routines accordingly.

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