Weekly Update: Reimaging Policing in Memphis

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Earlier this week, I announced the creation of an Advisory Council to Reimagine Policing in Memphis, which is Phase 2 of our local efforts on police reform. Phase 1 of this process was to listen to protesters and to make immediate improvements such as adopting the “8 Can’t Wait” principles, improving CLERB, prohibiting no-knock warrants, extending the academy training by one week and adding additional cultural sensitivity training, and continuing to review policies that will reduce excessive force by our police officers. These discussions are ongoing.

The focus of this advisory council will be to work with members of the community to find substantive, realistic and measurable ways to improve community relations with law enforcement, help enhance accountability and transparency within the Memphis Police Department, and to make recommendations on our use of force policies. The council will be made up of four subcommittees—clergy, civil rights, legislative, and law enforcement— and will be facilitated by Coplexity. Ken Moody, Special Assistant to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Community Affairs, will be the point of contact for this council.

Over the next 45 days, this group will be meeting with members of the community to bring forth their initial and immediate actionable solutions. Once they bring those initial recommendations, the group will reconvene and continue working with members of the community for an additional 45 days to make final recommendations and present them to the administration.

If you would like to participate in one of the many sessions that will be made available, please visit reimagine.memphistn.gov, and tell us what you would like to see improved in the Memphis Police Department, or what you like about the department. Just click on the “We want to hear from you” button on the home page.

As I said earlier, the committees include Clergy, which will be responsible for working with the faith-based community from various religions. Civil Rights will work with activists and nonprofit organizations. The Legislative committee members will work with constituents, neighborhood groups and the business community. The Law Enforcement committee will reach out to other enforcement agencies and act as a resource to the group.

To see the full committee list, go here.

I’m thankful to all the members of the advisory group for signing on to help us do this difficult but important work. I want to reiterate how proud I am of the men and women of the Memphis Police Department and the work they do every day for our city. Whether in government or business, successful organizations are continually searching for ways to improve and to be better at what they do. That’s my charge to this advisory group. We have one of the best police departments in the country, but there is always room for improvement.

Largest MWBE Contract in City History: In my time as mayor, one of my top priorities has been to contract with the highest quality contractors and professionals and to increase our minority and women-owned business spend by City government.

It was announced earlier this week, that Allworld Project Management was selected to lead our Stormwater Program. Allworld will be responsible for managing activities and associated contracts related to planning, design, and construction for stormwater infrastructure improvements.

With a four-year program budget of approximately $19 Million, this is the largest award to a minority engineering firm in the City of Memphis's history.

This is an unprecedented prime contract award in City contracting to an MWBE in the engineering industry. Through the leadership of Joann Massey and the staff of the Office of Business Diversity and Compliance, my Administration has continued to eliminate barriers and prioritize inclusion of MWBEs to increase overall MWBE contracting in City government. We’ve worked extremely hard to get to where we are today, and this contract with Allworld is further proof that what we’re doing is working. I look forward to continuing to help grow our local MWBE firms as we move forward.

Affordable Public Housing: Creating more quality, affordable housing has been important to us since 2016. Over the course of my first term as mayor, I'm happy to say we’ve incentivized the construction or renovation of over 5,000 affordable, quality housing units.

A great example of that work is the South City project. South City is a little different from prior demolitions of public housing because we kept track of former residents, they have first rights to return upon completion of construction, and we’re committed to helping improve the surrounding area.

As it stands, we're just completing the second phase of this project and have started work on the third phase. There are 114 units in Phase 1 and another 134 units in Phase 2 which will be completed later this month with leasing to start soon after. So far, 39 residents have returned to the first phase. Additionally, two $50,000 grants were recently approved by the Center City Development Corporation to help improve two properties in the surrounding area with another two proposals waiting on approval.

901 Reasons: On Tuesday, we celebrated 901 Day, which is a day that celebrates all things Memphis. We also officially launched our 901 Reasons to Wear a Mask campaign. If you haven’t done so, join in on the City of Memphis Facebook page and let us know your reason.


Winners will receive an Errbody vs. COVID-19 t-shirt!


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