MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis River Parks Partnership says it is adding security elements to a downtown Memphis park after a St. Jude researcher was shot and killed nearby during a robbery over the weekend.
While many were walking their dogs and exercising in Butler Park on Wednesday, MRPP was adding lighting, changing existing lighting to LED, and tending to a fire pit.
Carol Coletta, CEO of MRPP, said there also will be a “ranger” stationed in the park from 5 to 7 p.m.
“The idea is to make sure people can feel and be safe and secure and feel warm and invited,” Coletta said.
A small memorial to Alexander Bulakhov has started in the park, which sits between Tennessee and the top of the riverfront bluff downtown. Bulakhov was shot and killed during a robbery around 7:45 Sunday evening as he walked with his wife and 2-year-old.
The two suspects charged with murder in the case made their first court appearances Wednesday.
Coletta says her organization, which also manages Tom Lee Park, is doing what it can, but Memphis’ crime is not a one-person job.
“We have a crime issue in Memphis, and everybody knows it,” she said. “We solve crime as a community. The police can’t do it. We can’t do it just as park managers. None of us can do it by ourselves. It really does take a village, and we want to be part of that village.”