MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Federal and local leaders are coming together with a new strategy to make Memphis safer.
The Department of Justice, community stakeholders, faith leaders and the Memphis Police Department announced efforts to reduce violent crime Wednesday.
“We are all standing up here today because Memphis is beautiful, we love Memphis, we want to support Memphis, but this is a major issue,” said Todd Richardson, CEO of Crosstown Redevelopment Cooperative.
The DOJ has directed every U.S. Attorney’s office to come up with a plan for violent crime reduction.
“We talked about what can we do, what concrete thing can we do to reduce violent crime and this is what we came up with,” said Joseph Murphy, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
The group is holding summits around Memphis to address the needs of parents and children.
“If you got a child that’s in need of mentoring, bring them out,” MPD Deputy Chief Paul Wright said. “If you got a child that’s going in the direction of gang, if you know a family member that’s being beaten, the stuff that you learn on this day you can take back to your community.”
The summits will address topics of domestic violence prevention, gang talk, community conflict resolution and de-escalation training.
“We do punishment well, but sometimes we don’t do deterrence well,” said Brandon Porter, bishop of Greater Community Temple Church of God in Christ. “Punishment without correction is abuse.”
The next Better Community Summit will be held at the Neighborhood Christian Centers on June 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“This is a simple act that can have a ripple effect, but it takes people having the courage to come out of their home to an event to learn how to engage in a way to make our community safer,” said DeAndre Brown, founder of Lifeline To Success.