MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A post-graduation shooting on Middle Tennessee State University campus has local organizers re-evaluating their security plans for graduation ceremonies.
Hours ahead of the first diploma being handed at the Renasant Convention Center, preparations are underway, from inside the ballroom where students are rehearsing to the halls of the venue where security is conducting walkthroughs ahead of the pubic being let in.
Dean Dennis is the general manager of the convention center and says they will be hosting roughly 40 graduations this season. As a result, they have spent a lot of time coordinating with law enforcement and school districts.
“All of our team is on alert in terms of suspicious behavior,” Dennis said. “We’re doing a lot extra work with those resources and other things that we’re doing that we won’t tell you on camera, but we’re taking every opportunity to make sure we’re secure as possible.”
Given the recent violence experienced at graduations across the country, the Renasant Convention Center has added two Sky Cops and brought in additional security.
“It’s such a celebration and 99.9 percent are just excited for their children, excited for the day that they graduate, but there can always be that altercation that erupts into something,” Dennis said.
WREG reached out to the Memphis Police Department and Memphis-Shelby County Schools for comment on this topic but not heard back.