MPD doubling the number of officers on Beale Street

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:31 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One of the biggest weekends on Beale Street will come with new security measures that look to put even more eyes on the famous street.

The Fourth of July Weekend traditionally brings some of the biggest crowds to the entertainment district.

Wednesday, MPD announced they are doubling the number of officers patrolling Beale starting this weekend.

This is the third-day tourist Bobby Howard and his family have spent on Beale Street.

“We’ve enjoyed it. We enjoyed the scenery. We’ve enjoyed the entertainment, the car show,” said Bobby Howard of Alabama.

However, beyond the good food and good music is feeling safe on the world-famous street.

Howard said, “So far well we all talked about this, security is the number one issue especially when I’m with my family, and so far so good. We’ve had no problems.”

Wednesday the newest assigned officers to patrol Beale went through training to learn important tactics such as how to professionally disperse a crowd or how to quickly get medical support to a scene.

“This is the type of training you would see in other major cities with entertainment districts such as Bourbon Street and others,” said MPD Deputy Chief Samuel Hines.

Hines said the training isn’t new, but dedicating over 40 officers each day to the street is new.

Over the past 90 days, there have been over 80 reported crimes within the parameters of the entertainment district ranging from aggravated assault to thefts.

A push for additional security measures came with the shooting death of 26-year-old father Taquan Smith back in April.

Prior to this upcoming weekend officer assigned to the entertainment district was described as sporadic without a dedicated force.

Hines said, “Beale Street is one of our crown jewels for the city. We want to make sure that area is safe.”

A Downtown Memphis Commission spokesperson said the $5 security fee to get on Beale street on weekend nights will likely continue through the summer.

The fee was put into place to hopefully control the crowds.

Deputy Chief Hines says tomorrow’s graduating class of 70 new police officers helped the city dedicate these officers to patrol only Beale.

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