Local and state leaders meet at DA’s office public safety summit

Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 10:42 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis and Shelby County leaders are talking solutions to reduce violent crime.

Memphis Police top brass, the Shelby County District Attorney’s office, state lawmakers, city and county leaders and all attended a closed door meeting Thursday.

They couldn’t share a lot of details about what was discussed, but wanted to emphasize that they are working together to try to implement methods to reduce crime in Memphis and Shelby County.

“We all have recognized we have a serious crime problem,” Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy. “We have a crime crisis right now and it requires an all hands on deck approach to tackle the problem.”

A facilitator lead the discussion among those at Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy’s public safety summit with local, state and community leaders.

“I don’t think I’ve seen a convening like this in a while,” said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. “It’s time for us to get out of our silos and I think that happened today.”

The summit included leadership from the Memphis Police Department, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Memphis, Shelby County Government, state lawmakers, community organizations and more.

“We know there are based causes of our crime problem now,” said Memphis City Councilman Dr. Jeff Warren. “We have poverty. We have the residual of industrial slavery that is still here present in our community generations later.”

Mulroy says they’re working on specific evidence-based initiatives that have reduced crime or repeat offender rates in other cities.

That includes targeting crime hotspots, adding street lights, clearing vacant lots, remediating blighted properties and giving people at risk of committing another crime more resources so they are less likely to re-offend.

“Not everyone of these things will be able to be done overnight,” said Mulroy. “We’re hoping to be able to implement these things and see at least preliminary results in a six to 18 month time frame but we will be working on them collaboratively because we take this issue of crime very seriously.”

Making data from these agencies more readily available for the public, was also discussed.

No final decisions were made.

Meanwhile law enforcement, city, state and county leaders say they plan to meet again in a few months.

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