Earlier last week I attended the B.I.G. for Memphis event hosted by the Phelps family and team at Phelps Security. These free community events, which are typically held the last Wednesday of each month (excluding June, July, November and December) from 10-11:30 AM at the office of Phelps Security, feature a local keynote speaker, along with abbreviated Blue CRUSH presentations by Memphis Police Department Colonels and a similar overview by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. There’s always a good group in attendance and the goal is to empower business and community leaders with up-to-date crime statistics, information and helpful prevention tips and to foster collaboration between law enforcement professionals and our citizens. I highly recommend that you attend one of these meetings because it will give you a behind-the-scenes view of what our officer’s manage and deal with each week, how our city fights crime, where crimes are occurring, notable arrests, and more. Knowledge is power, and you’ll walk away much more knowledgeable about what’s going on in Memphis and Shelby County. To learn more about B.I.G for Memphis contact Jennifer Phelps Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The speaker for March was Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Strickland highlighted the recent MPD graduating class and a commitment to continue increasing those numbers. The 9-1-1 response time has dropped to 13 seconds, which is a dramatic reduction from what was almost a minute the year before. Aside from increasing the number of police officers, he covered five additional priorities: 1) education; 2) economic and workforce development; 3) youth intervention and mentoring; 4) lobbying for tougher sentencing for violent criminals; and 5) giving second chances to those who’ve turned their lives around. He ended with a request for each of us to do one thing - mentor a young person, read to a child or adopt and clean up a city block.
Another simple way to help our city while also protecting your belongings is to “Stow it! Don’t Show it!” One of the largest percentage of crimes our city faces is Theft from Motor Vehicles, which is something we all can help prevent. BEFORE you reach your destination, place all of your belongings in your vehicle’s trunk. Don’t leave anything in the passenger or back seat and make sure to lock up any guns or firearms in a safe. Lock your car doors and keep your windows up, even as the weather gets warmer because thieves are looking for easy targets and anything they can turn into cash, especially guns. Lastly, if you’re going to buy anything from someone online, like via Craigslist, meet that person at one of the MPD precincts for safety.