MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Safety continues to be a major concern as thousands flock to downtown Memphis to support the Grizzlies in their playoff run.
Excitement is in the air as fans flood into the FedExForum to root on the Grizzlies Tuesday night.
The playoff run comes as Memphis Police investigate a fatal triple shooting on Beale Street and, most recently, the robbery of a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ traveling party.
Fans say they’re not letting crime ruin this playoff run.
“This should be a happy time. A time of celebration and to hear that is unthinkable, but nevertheless we are going to go on to support our Grizzlies,” said Grizzlies fan Lou Holloway.
The Downtown Memphis Commission told WREG for Game 2 there would be non-weekend safety protocols which means no wanding, ID checks or fee to get on Beale Street.
But there would be an increased presence of both the Blue Suede Brigade and MPD officers. Chief CJ Davis told us she would also be out monitoring the area.
“We just know that we need more visibility not just in that area in that corridor but around that area. We have car break-ins in that area when there are major events and we want to make sure people’s property is protected,” Chief Davis said.
We spotted officers with the mounted patrol unit and at least 10 cruisers on Beale Street in addition to the officers controlling traffic.
“For them to be out here I think it’s good and refreshing. It’s also a level of comfort and security to let people know they are being vigilant,” said Venytra Stephens, a Grizzlies fan.
Fans like Lou Holloway and Eric Hagerman agree it’s going to take a group effort to get a handle on crime.
“Safety is something that all of us can play a part of,” Holloway said.
“Memphis is the biggest little city in the country. Everybody knows everybody. We’re a giant family whether we like it or not,” Hagerman said.