Weekly Update

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As I have noted before, we developed a gun violence interruption program in 2021 called our Group Violence Intervention Program (GVIP). It’s a comprehensive and collaborative initiative aimed directly at interrupting the cycle of violent crime by adding new and significant resources to that work.

GVIP has been advised by experts from: 

  • National Network of Safe Communities (NNSC)
  • Urban Peace Institute (UPI)
  • The Hospital Alliance for Violence Intervention (HAVI)
  • The Whitehouse CVI assessment program
  • Team and partners have received over 300 hours of training in GVI processes

The GVIP office has three program areas: Focused Deterrence, Intervention, and Outreach and Support.

Focused Deterrence

Each week, a weekly shooting review is conducted that examines recent gun-related incidents with Memphis Police Department, Multi-Agency Gang Units, DA’s Office, TDOC, and MSCS Security Department. In these meetings the group works to

identify those likely to shoot or be shot and identify events likely to evoke retaliation. Once that is determined, GVIP communicates directly to those individuals through custom notifications and community call-ins.


GVIP performs two types of intervention—street intervention and hospital intervention.  

Street intervention—a team of 50 trained interventionists who know the streets, understand dynamics of gangs and cliques connect with individuals to mediate “beefs”, discourage retaliation, and encourage positive community response after a shooting. They also connect with individuals one on one to promote positive choices and connect them to supportive services. Below is the data for participants and services requested for the last quarter of 2022.


Hospital intervention—this is a partnership with Methodist-Le Bonheur’s Trauma department to provide in-hospital intervention services to juveniles and their families who have been affected by gun violence. During the last quarter of 2022, 57 hospital interventions were conducted. More hospitals will be coming on soon.

Outreach and Support

GVIP has worked to create partnerships with local agencies to provide supportive services (i.e., job support, expungements, and counseling) to individuals identified through focused deterrence and intervention programs, including United Way’s Driving the Dream, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Center for Youth Advocacy and Well-being, City of Memphis Community Affairs’ Programs of Manhood University, WOWs, R3, and The Public Service Corps. Below is the outreach and support data for 2022.

To give you a sense of what this looks like in the real world, below are two examples from the program:

(42-year-old female)

  • Female was a victim of an aggravated assault, where she was shot in the back.
  • She requested and received employment, emergency housing, and adult education assistance.
  • She has not been a victim of any violent crime nor arrested for any crime.

 (23-year-old male) 

  • Convicted felon on probation for aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, who was mandated to attend a Call-In due to his violent arrest history, and risk of reoffending.
  • He requested assistance from our street intervention team 901 BLOC to mediate the street “beef” between him and opposing gang members, who were trying to kill him.
  • 901 BLOC was able to mediate this beef and reduce the likelihood of retaliation from either side.

While we still have work to do, we are slowly but surely making progress. Our GVIP program is by far the largest gun violence intervention in the city and the only one that publishes its data. Thanks to Jimmy Johnson and his GVIP team for their work in this difficult area.

Moving on: I wanted to take a moment to say congrats and good luck to my good friend Ken Moody as he starts a new chapter in his career. Ken served as a special advisor in my administration since 2016, and he recently accepted a position with the University of Memphis in its government relations department.

During his time with City government, Ken oversaw the City’s Office of Business Diversity and Compliance, the Public Service Corps, and the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board. He also created and operated our second chance and opportunity youth programs.

Ken has been an invaluable member of our senior leadership team and has made a real difference in city government. During our time together, he has become a close friend, and I am happy that he will devote the next chapter in his life to our mutual beloved alma mater.

A jewel for Whitehaven: Earlier this week, Governor Lee was in town to help cut the ribbon on a brand-new YMCA facility in Whitehaven—the Georgette & Cato Johnson YMCA.


This new location will be a tremendous asset for the community much like the individuals for which it is named have been to our city.


Congratulations to Georgette and Cato and to the entire Whitehaven community as you open the doors to this state-of-art facility.

Enjoy your weekend!


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