MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis’ new mayor-elect, Paul Young, has already had a brief conversation with Police Chief CJ Davis as he prepares to get a lay of the land when it comes to the Memphis Police Department.
Since winning the mayor’s seat last Thursday, two days before celebrating his 44th birthday, Young has hit the ground running.
“It’s still a whirlwind. There’s a lot of activity, a lot of calls, texts, things that I haven’t gotten to yet,” Young said.
Young knows there is a lot of work ahead, and like he said on the campaign trail, his top issue to attack is crime and getting a unified plan to attack it.
“Number one has to be addressing public safety. It’s number one on my list. I’d love to have a convening of the major stakeholders in the criminal justice system,” he said.
“I’ve had a brief conversation with Chief Davis over the weekend. We’ll have some more in-depth conversation conversations over the coming days and weeks and hear more about the plans she already had, what she wants to do and her future, and really make a firm decision on where we go,” Young said.
While Young is not committing to anything about CJ Davis’ future with MPD, he said he will be looking for certain things in the department.
“I want to see transparency. I want to see an openness to new ideas on how we police in our community. And I want to see a police department that’s communicative, that’s really communicating with the public around what our plans and strategies are going to be to reduce the level of violence in our city,” he said.
At 44 years old, Young may be one of the youngest to ever take the oath as mayor of Memphis, but he said his 20 years of working around government has prepared him for what’s ahead.
“I’ve been in the mayor’s office for major decisions and things that were underway. And now I’m just sitting in a different seat in that space,” Young said.
While he knows his 27% of the vote is by no means a mandate, the mayor-elect said he is ready to work with those who didn’t vote for him.
“I am governing for all of Memphis at this point. There’s no more Team Young. Now it’s Team Memphis, and so my goal is to do the things to advance our city regardless of who you voted for. I am working to be your mayor,” Young said.
We also asked Young if any of the other candidates in the mayor’s race could end up in his administration. He said he is not opposed to that and will be looking for people who are ready to work and get results.