Safety in Parks

Goal: Continued reductions in crime year over year.

  • What is this?

    Our "Safety in Parks" metric tracks "Group A" offenses that occur within park boundaries. Group A offenses include assault and motor vehicle theft, among others. We begin by listing two of the city's most popular parks: Overton Park and Tom Lee Park. As we build out the MEMFacts dashboard, we will continue adding parks to enlarge the picture.

  • Why does it matter?

    Our parks are the common ground and shared space of our community - places of equal opportunity serving rich and poor alike. Keeping our parks safe is a key component to creating an environment where Memphians can meet, exercise, and enjoy the outdoors together.

  • Who is responsible?

    The Memphis Police Department, the Division of Parks and Neighborhoods, and the Riverfront Development Corporation.

  • How do we measure performance?

    We track the number of incidents in each park and aim to reduce that number over time.

How is safety in parks calculated?

We track all Group A crimes within the boundaries of our parks and the parking lots that serve them. Group A is a list of twenty-two serious offenses such as robbery and assault.

What is the state of safety in Memphis parks?

Our most popular parks are safe and getting safer each year. Tom Lee Park has close to zero incidents per year, and Overton Park's incidents have been reduced by more than half since 2006. For reporting on additional parks throughout the city, watch this space as we expand it in future iterations of the MEMFacts dashboard.

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

The Memphis Police Department works with the Division of Parks and Neighborhoods and the Riverfront Development Corporation to develop park safety plans and meets with neighborhood and park advocacy groups on an ongoing basis to understand issues affecting the parks and adopt policing strategies to address those issues. Those strategies include the establishment of an Entertainment District Unit that patrols the Downtown Memphis area, which includes Tom Lee Park and is accountable for the steep drop in crime there.

More information

If you feel that your park is unsafe, contact the Memphis Police Department at (901) 545-2677 (545-COPS) and notify your neighborhood association or neighborhood watch contacts. If you need information on your neighborhood groups, contact the Office of Community Affairs, (901) 636-6507.